The Nashville airport was the scene of a touching moment when children of fallen service members were treated to a rendition of the national anthem from fellow airline travelers.
The kids were being flown to Disneyworld by American Airlines as part of an all-expenses-paid trip, an event coordinated by the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Snowball Express Program.
The Foundation website describes the trip as “a therapeutic retreat with a blend of fun and inspiring programs” where “these families can lean on their peers for support.”
The children gathered at the airport as an airline attendant announced their presence, and everything nearly came to a standstill. Soldiers stopped to salute while strangers gathered to sing the Star Spangled Banner.
If you only watch one video today, make it this beautifully simple demonstration of pure gratitude! 🇺🇸https://t.co/IZXIciOpWE
— Michael Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) December 11, 2018
This is America
Watch the video and we defy you to not feel the red, white, and blue coursing through your veins.
“I witnessed an international airport come to a complete stop today,” wrote Jen Tringale, who posted the video to her Facebook page.
American Airlines “was flying a plane full of children who had lost a parent in combat to Disneyworld on an all expenses paid trip and they threw a party for them at the gate,” she said.
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“When they announced them over the loudspeaker and they lined up to board the plane the whole airport literally stopped and sang the national anthem with military present in salute.”
Take a look at the incredible video below …
This is why we stand for the National Anthem
It becomes an even more powerful moment when you contrast this moment with millionaires in the NFL who refuse to stand for their National Anthem.
They whine that their rights are being infringed upon.
JUST IN: NFLPA files grievance challenging NFL’s new anthem policy:
“The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.” pic.twitter.com/YJu7hbrUL9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 10, 2018
What real Americans should do is stand and honor the flag, honor the national anthem, and honor these children and their parents – those living, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
How much it means
Several of the parents that were on the flight with their children saw the video on social media and expressed thanks for capturing the moment.
“My son and I were on this flight!” Amber Diaz wrote. “I can’t begin to explain how much this means to us.”
“My daughter and I were on this flight,” wrote Erin Lowell. “First time Snowballers … so emotional!”
The Snowball website has testimony from another mother, Jennifer Hanson.
“It isn’t easy to put into words what Snowball Express meant to my 8-year-old daughter and me but I will try,” Hanson said. “I guess the easiest way to explain it is to simply state that it was the first time since losing my husband that I went 5 days in a row without crying.”
“Sure, there were a few moments of filling up with tears,” she adds. “However, those were tears of gratitude and pride.”
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