Passengers aboard a Delta flight transporting the body of a fallen soldier started to sing the national anthem, but were denied by the flight attendant.
When the passengers found out that fallen Green Beret soldier Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright’s casket was aboard the flight, they started to sing as a sign of respect and gratitude. Pamely Gaudry, who organized the gesture, explained that the flight attendant instructed them to stop singing.
She explained to the attendant, “It’s the national anthem,” but was told: “It is against company policy to do that and so we are going to land and everybody is going to stay in their seats and be quiet.”
Gaudry further explained the situation in a video she posted on social media, noting: “I’m humiliated by my lack of courage to sing the national anthem in my own country on American soil with a deceased soldier on the plane. I just sat there with tears rolling down my face.”
She added, “Hundreds of thousands of people now know that Dustin Wright died for our country and there were a lot of people on that plane that wanted to honor him. Hundreds of thousands of people are praying for this family now that weren’t.”
Delta later contacted Gaudry and she was told that it’s not company policy to forbid singing and that the flight attendant made “some bad decisions in trying to make this situation go away.” The company plans to train staff to better handle this situation in the future.
Many of those weighing in with comments on the Independent Journal Review’s coverage of the story were shocked that passengers were silenced, with posts such as: “Just another in the long list of companies selling out to the PC police” and “I hope that unpatriotic witch lost her job. According to Delta it was never one of their policies to keep from people honoring our fallen. That stewardess acted on her own.”
Another military mother commented: “This soldier fought and died for this country and they have the right to sing the National Anthem and I don’t care how many other counties were on that plane, that soldier deserved the respect. Rest easy and thank you for your service. My son is in the US Army and he is starting to get upset with this country and how these people don’t respect the soldiers.”
One commenter relayed their experience in working as a funeral director, noting: “Over the course of 20 years as a funeral director I was honored to have aided the fallen in their last journey. Consistently the ground and baggage crews from Delta (and most other carriers) stopped what they did as the casket passed them by, stood at attention, hand over hearts with their heads bowed. Once the casket was loaded into the hearse all staff present as I pulled out of the loading dock area gave one final salute. My point is that this flight attendant is an aberration in the way most airline employees, regardless of carrier, handle the ‘final flights’ of our nation’s fallen service members.”