I received an email today with an article that was posted on www.flyertalk.com. What a fantastic thing that Delta Airlines is doing.
Here is the article:
Delta Honor Guard
Earlier this week I was out at the Airport visiting the Delta Holiday Military Lounge, I learned that there were two Military personnel escorting a fallen solider home. The escorts were being accompanied by a Chaplin who told me about the Delta Employee Honor Guard ceremony for veterans. This program is put together by a group of Delta volunteers, and I got the chance to meet Brian, a 28 year Delta employee who coordinates the ceremony in Atlanta. He told me that he has been organizing a group of volunteers for the past several years that are a part of this program that began in Atlanta with another employee Tom in 2005. While Brian didn’t serve in the military, he proudly showed me pictures of his father who was a veteran, and his son is serving in Air Force and has been deployed twice to Afghanistan.
The Honor Guard now has several special carts painted in the Delta Paint shop with a flag on top, and one that is specifically designed to transport the veterans’ casket. The volunteers participate in a flag ceremony, read a prayer and give the military escort a special Delta Honor Guard coin to be passed onto the next of kin.
This program has now expanded to Boston, Minneapolis, and Norfolk, as well as other airlines including American.
This particular ceremony took place was on Concourse E, and since this is the International Concourse with restricted access, I had to shoot these pictures from the gate. Several people in the gate area came over to see what I shooting pictures of, and when I was done there were more than a dozen people standing there watching, many with tears in their eyes. Truly it was a very moving experience to witness, and it was a honor to meet some of the caring employees at Delta that makes this happen on a regular basis. My many thanks to Delta Worldport team, and to the many volunteers that participate in this program for veterans as they make their final pass through Atlanta.