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 Thank You Soldier

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Rhonda
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PostSubject: Thank You Soldier   Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:51 pm

What honor looks like: The flash mob at Gate 38 of Reagan National Airport

May 23, 2012
By Chris Muller

Honor is a hard term to describe. It doesn’t have a color or weight or shape. If someone were to ask me what honor looked like, I’d probably struggle with what to say.

But something happened on May 23, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. at Gate 38 of Reagan National Airport that might change that. A flash mob of sorts broke out. But not like you’ve seen on YouTube with highly choreographed dance numbers or people singing a song in unison. In fact, virtually all of the participants of this “flash mob” didn’t know they would be participating until moments before it happened.

Let me explain. Shortly before 9:30 over the loud speakers, a US Airways gate attendant announced that an Honor Flight of World War II veterans would be arriving momentarily and encouraged anyone passing by to help greet them. Five or six people looked like they were officially part of the welcoming committee, and the rest of the people in the secure section of the airport were regular old travelers going somewhere. Then I had a terrible thought. What if these veterans came off the plane and just those five or six individuals were there to greet them. I walked a gate over to help see the veterans out.

But – then it happened and frankly, I wasn’t expecting it. All throughout the terminal, people left their gates and gathered around gate 38. A few active military personnel in plain clothes approached the gate attendant and politely asked if they could join in the salute within the jet way as the heros first stepped off the plane. Every human being in the terminal stood at attention and faced the door.

Someone held up an old newspaper from 1945 that had a banner headline that said, “Nazis Quit!” And when I saw that newspaper, I realized that World War II wasn’t just a chapter in a history book. It was men and women who saw an evil like the world has never seen before and traveled across the world to meet that evil. And they defeated it.

I wonder if in 1945, any of those brave soldiers could ever imagine that 67 years later, we’d still be basking in the freedom that they preserved. And some of those heros were about to walk through Gate 38.

The first soldier walked through the door. Old, frail and needing help walking. And every person I could see in the entire airport stood and applauded. No – maybe cheered is more like it.

But here’s the thing – the applause didn’t stop. For a full 20 minutes, as veteran by veteran stepped out of the jet way, the US Airways wing of Reagan National Airport thundered in appreciation. Travelers stepped out for the opportunity to shake their hand while others held back tears.

This is the America we picture in our heads. Heros getting a hero’s welcome and those who enjoy the freedom adequately conveying their gratitude.

Now, I know what honor looks like.





CANCER FREE!!!  April 9, 1998-April 9, 2016-I AM A SURVIVOR!!!
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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: Thank You Soldier   Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:17 pm

What a cool thing! Thank you for posting that, Rhonda.
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Vanesa
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PostSubject: Re: Thank You Soldier   Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:37 am

Great article and video, Rhonda. Thans for posting them. Smile

Vanesa.


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Davetucson
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PostSubject: Re: Thank You Soldier   Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:37 am

Several years ago, the best commercial ever made about troops coming home was made.
Take a look at it if you get a chance. Rhonda's great post reminded me of it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqKU3v-TM3Y


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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Savannah
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PostSubject: Re: Thank You Soldier   Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:13 pm

That was beautiful, Rhonda! I'd been having issues with my computer not being able to play any Youtube videos, but it's finally straightened out - and I could finally watch. Truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing it!
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Rhonda
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PostSubject: Re: Thank You Soldier   Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:45 pm

Ever since I moved up here to Missouri from Arkansas in 2010, one of the news teams has been having Honor Flights for the military. They go to Washington to view all the memorials and spend the entire day being honored. On the 6:00 news, they always let people know that the Honor Flight will be arriving at the airport at 9:30 and all who are interested in "bringing them home" are welcome to be there. Then at the 10:00 news, they are at the airport showing all the military coming off the plane and getting a Military Welcome Home.....it is SO neat and this video I posted, reminded me of that...such a deep feeling of pride comes in and you can't help but feel good! They took their last Honor Flight on D-Day and the emotions were high.....God Bless our Military for keeping our Country safe and free.....





CANCER FREE!!!  April 9, 1998-April 9, 2016-I AM A SURVIVOR!!!
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Alice
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PostSubject: Re: Thank You Soldier   Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:26 pm

That was awesome! I think I can stop the tears now.





Spring is finally here, the lovely pink blooms on the "spray" tree outside my window are gone leaving a beautiful willow.
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