Today I had the honor of traveling with a fallen soldier. My flight from Baltimore to Boston was shared with a US armed service member that had recently lost their life on active duty. Our pilot made an announcement shortly before we touched down that the deplaning procedure would be a little different than usual. When we pulled up to the jetway everyone was made to stay seated while the two uniformed escorts deplaned. I expected there to still be the usual commotion once the plane came to a stop but much to my surprise, there was no movement and complete silence. All 175 passengers stayed in their seats without a word. Once we were given the okay to deplane only about 1/4 of the people got up and left. The remaining passengers sat in silence and looked on. After the soldier was loaded in the hearse and the door was closed the rest of us deplaned. Upon entering the airport I was again surprised. The entire terminal was silent and standing. You could have heard a pin drop. I was proud to be on that plane today, but I was more proud of my fellow travelers and the respect that each and everyone paid a complete stranger. Today I was reminded of what an incredible country we live in.
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