Legend: Pilot of commercial airliner makes announcement that the flight is carrying the body of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
I want to tell you of an experience I had last night flying home from Atlanta. The pilot came on the intercom and went through the usual announcements telling us that “we’re just east of Montgomery cruising at 28,000 feet” and “you’ve picked a beautiful night for flying, just look at the gorgeous southern sunset out of the right side of the plane”.
He then, however, said this: “Please bear with me as I deviate from the script, but I want you all to know that simply by coincidence you have been granted both the privilege and honor of escorting the body of
The plane quickly became very quiet, but soon erupted in thunderous applause that lasted for several minutes. It was quite moving, to say the least. As I sat there thinking about what the pilot had said, and
By the way, the flight ended with all of us deplaning only to line the windows of the gate house to watch
Origins: It’s not clear what aspect of this item people are seeking confirmation of when they ask if it’s “true,” but we’ll give it a shot:
Howard Johnson was a 21-year-old Army PFC from Mobile, Alabama. He was assigned to
507th MaintenanceCompany, Fort Bliss, Texas, and he was killed in action during an ambush near Nasiriyah, Iraq, on 23 March2003.
- Likely: Since PFC Johnson was from Alabama (and was buried on
6 April2003 at Gethsemane Cemetery in Mobile), it’s not improbable that his body was carried on a commercial flight from Atlanta to Alabama, that the pilot of that flight made an announcement to that effect, and that many passengers on the flight responded to the announcement with reverence and appreciation. (The message quoted above often carries the signature block of an Andy Nelson, but he was merely a forwarder of the message and not its originator.)
- Not true: That anti-war protesters need to “correct the situation” and get “on board” with the philosophy that many young people volunteer for the military and are prepared to give their lives protecting our country. Anti-war protesters (except for fringe groups) aren’t disparaging servicemen or discounting the value of their contributions; anti-war protesters are expressing their opinion that they don’t believe the current situation is one for which our servicemen should be called upon to give their lives.
Last updated: 16 October 2007