This is definitely upsetting. Passengers on a Delta Airlines plane carrying the remains of a U.S. airman on his final flight home refused to remain seated as they were requested to do.
The passengers were informed by flight crew as the plane descended into Detroit, Michigan, about Staff Sergeant Andre Taylor’s remains and asked to remain seated until his coffin was escorted from the plane.
Seems a simple enough request and one that most would agree to comply with, out of respect for the airman and his service to his country.
You might be surprised to learn, however, that not everyone on board wanted to be bothered by this delay, as one passenger, Ken Fitzgerald, shared on Facebook. He details that, despite multiple announcements, almost everyone got up and gathered their things to leave the plane.
Sergeant Taylor’s family waited outside the plane, where the coffin, draped with an American flag, was escorted off by the United States Air Force Honor Guard.
It appears that those rushing off the plane, according to Fitzgerald, should not have been a part of this somber moment.
He wrote: “Pretty damn disappointed in people today! The flight crew made FOUR announcements, two on the descent, once upon taxiing and another upon our arrival at the gate, for folks to remain seated until our fallen Airman was escorted off the aircraft first. SSgt Andre Taylors family was there for his arrival breaking down in tears just outside the window along with Delta Airlines fallen hero escorts and the United States Air Force Honor Guard. EVERY INDIVIDUAL got up and followed SSgt Andre Taylors escorts off the aircraft without staying in their seats as instructed with the exception of myself, every commuting airline employee and the flight crew. Seriously people?”
Fitzgerald also told Popular Military: “Before we loaded in Phoenix, people were watching from the terminal as Staff Sgt. Taylor’s remains were loaded into the aircraft…The really sad thing…we arrived to Michigan early, and people still rushed to get off the plane — really sad.”
People on the Independent Journal Review’s coverage of this story weighed in in the comments section, with one person noting: “You see the hero and family being escorted on the highway and see people cut them off, cut in etc. This is unfortunately very common behavior. But occasionally I see someone along the road, standing and saluting or with hand over their heart and it gives me hope.”
Another person noted: “Sadly it still shows the disrespect for not only the military but for humanity in general that still persists in our country.”
Yet another shared that this type of behavior isn’t always the case, noting their personal experience on a flight: “I’m saddened to read this, but not everyone from Detroit is like this. I have been on a flight to Detroit with a fallen soldier, and fortunately, the flight I was on was respectful and waited quietly as the soldier was being unloaded off the plane. I’ll never forget the banner that Delta has on the trailer that carries the fallen, ‘All gave some. Some gave ALL.’”