Ruth Malhotra was aboard a packed Delta flight on her way home from Atlanta when she saw something she will never forget.
As the plane hit the tarmac in Detroit early in the morning on September 6th, the pilot made a special announcement.
"We have the honor of bringing a fallen soldier home," he said.
He then went on to explain that once they landed an Honor Guard ceremony would begin.
The fallen soldier was Curtis J. Wells.
Wells was 19 when he was reported Missing In Action while serving in the Korean War in the 1950's. The Pentagon had publically confirmed that his remains were found in Korea. After years of heartbreak, he is finally returning home to his family to be buried with full military honors.
"When the plane touched down, a somber applause erupted from passengers," Malhotra said.
As the entire plane witnessed the ceremony the pilot announced,
"Curtis J. Wells made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in the Korean War".
"Sixty four years later, he is coming home."
"Witnessing such respect for a fallen hero and unity around the American flag on an airplane full of diverse people -- all coming and going in different directions, yet caught together in a moment of history -- is something I will never forget," Malhotra said.
In our country's current state of divide in light of the upcoming elections as well as the ongoing protests against standing for the National Anthem, Malhotra explained that this unifying experience was truly touching.
"Thank you PFC Wells, for making the ultimate sacrifice," Malhotra said. "Thank you, Delta, for honoring our military and especially our fallen heroes in this way. And thank you, fellow passengers of Flight 629, for the respect and unity you displayed today."
It is an experience she will not soon forget.
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