While boarding a plane, a black woman discovered that a deceased veteran was being transported home to be buried. However, once she found out that she’d be sharing her flight with the soldier’s remains, she immediately stood up in the middle of the airport and made a huge scene.
Any time a fallen soldier is transported home through an airline, it is a delicate matter for everyone involved. In fact, there is a proper protocol that escorts and airline employees must follow in order to ensure the preservation of the precious cargo and the sensitivity of the circumstance.
So, when it was announced that a Vietnam veteran, who had served more than two decades in the U.S. Military, was being discharged for his final journey, Alaska Airlines passengers were humbled into silence. However, when it came to one very vocal woman, she wasn’t about to let the situation go without expressing her feelings on the matter.
According to Julia Collman Jette, who was traveling with her husband Neal from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to Seattle, Washington, the airport was shocked when a black flight attendant interrupted the silence to make it known how she felt about traveling with a fallen veteran. To the surprise of the crowd, Alaska Airlines employee Denise Snow cut through the tranquility with a powerful and heart-wrenching rendition of the National Anthem, which she sang to respectfully honor the soldier, according to HuffPost.
“Neal recorded this and luckily enough he had his phone out to record it. I was fighting back tears!” Jette wrote on Facebook. “This happened in the Anchorage airport just before we boarded our flight to Seattle. A fallen soldier’s ashes were being carried home on our plane. He served 21 selfless years in our military. What a moving experience and what an amazing voice of that Alaska Airlines employee!”
Once Snow was informed that the veteran, identified only as AJ, was making his final trip home, she announced the presence of his remains and stated that she would be offering the “Star-Spangled Banner” as a tribute to him. Her hauntingly beautiful voice immediately caused everyone within earshot to stand still and offer their respects.
Neal recorded this and luckily enough he had his phone out to record it. I was fighting back tears! This happened in the Anchorage airport just before we boarded our flight to Seattle. A fallen soldier's ashes were being carried home on our plane. He served 21 selfless years in our military. What a moving experience and what an amazing voice of that Alaska Airlines employee! #alaska #alaskaairlines #selfless #military #ashes #amazingvoice #tears #america #usa #freedom #fightforfreedom #travel #family #sacrifice #home #beautiful #facebookhashtag #respectourmilitary #thankful
Posted by Julia Jette on Friday, October 16, 2015
Neal, who recorded the video, explained that nearly everyone in the airport stood at attention to show their respects for the fallen veteran. He claims that “all but two” people stood in reverence of Snow’s performance of the National Anthem.
“It was awesome to see the hundreds of people stop in their tracks to pull their hats off and stand at attention to show their respect,” he commented.
Although Snow isn’t required to do anything special to honor military personnel, she chooses to sing the National Anthem any time a fallen soldier is transported on her flight. Additionally, she does the same in honor of veterans making the Honor Flight, which was founded by a non-profit organization dedicated to transporting U.S. military veterans to visit war memorials free of charge.
Denise Snow hasn’t come forward with any response to the adulation she’s received from the recording of her singing, which has since gone viral. In fact, it seems as if she hopes to deflect the attention from her otherworldly talents to the men and women whom she chooses to honor.
It’s refreshing to see an employee of one of the busiest and most stressful jobs taking the time out of her day to give respect to those who’ve served our country. Perhaps if more people did the same, we wouldn’t be as politically and socially divided as we are today.