Flying with a Fallen Soldier

The 90-minute flight ended as the plane landed and the pilot's voice rang through the speaker above our heads. "Welcome to Springfield. We have some very special passengers on this flight. We have been privileged to carry a fallen soldier to his final rest. His family is with us and, out of respect and gratefulness, please remain seated as they make their way off the aircraft first. We thank them for their sacrifice."

Hush fell upon us. The passengers were silent except for the sniffling and soft weeping heard in almost every row.

A group of people rose and made their way down the aisle; two middle-aged adults, probably the soldier's parents and a young woman, possibly his wife, and a little boy, doubtlessly the soldier's son. As they walked, I could feel the rise of emotion on the plane.

It was profound to think that what seemed to be an ordinary flight for me, just one of many, was really a privileged encounter I was unaware of. The passengers on my flight that day were party to a sacred experience ... we didn't even know it until it was over.

The sacred laid among us and we almost missed it.

How often is that true of me?

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