The friendly skies became all the more magnificent when passengers on a Delta flight learned their plane was transporting a fallen soldier. Rather poignantly, the world has also taken notice.
Though the soldier's life had ended, his story continued Tuesday when the pilot and flight team took a moment to honor his service for the country, and YouTuber and travel blogger Johnny Jet documented the moment.
Johnny's video, posted Wednesday, has already garnered over a million views on YouTube, something the travel expert said he never anticipated.
"Honestly, I almost didn't write the story," he tells us. "I'm on at least 100 flights a year, I go all around the world, but I just started shooting video bits, then I got home, and felt inspired. I cried the whole time I was writing it."
Johnny's wife edited the story, which he subsequently posted as a blog detailing the event. While he says the flight felt ordinary for most of the trip, he learned of its gravity just as the plane began descending to the ground.
At that moment, the Captain got on the PA system, and notified passengers that the plane was transporting a fallen soldier.
"The plane went quiet as he explained that there was a military escort aboard and asked that everyone remain seated for a couple of minutes so the soldiers could get off first," Johnny wrote on his blog. "He also warned us not to be alarmed if we see fire trucks, since Los Angeles greets their fallen military with a water cannon salute… a few minutes after touchdown, we did indeed have a water cannon salute."
Later, Johnny noticed the soldier's family with the escort, and listened as a military officer addressed passengers.
Johnny recalled, "He then stepped on the plane and told us passengers, 'I just addressed the escort. It is a sworn oath to bring home, to the family, the fallen.' He paused and then said, 'Today you all did that, you are all escorts, escorts of the heart.'"
You can read more from Johnny's account here, or, as he tells us, you can watch it on the nightly news.
"I thought maybe a couple thousand people would see it, and next thing I know I have NBC News, CNN calling me," he says. "You forget how lucky we are to live in a country that we live in, and that we would not be living in a country like this if we didn't have men and women who fight for our freedom. This was a reminder that freedom isn't free."
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