A video of busy airline travelers standing, saluting and paying respects to children whose parents had died in combat has gone viral.
The video was taken at the Nashville International Airport in Tennessee as a plane of children who lost a parent in combat transferred flights. The kids were met with a rendition of the national anthem and patriotic decorations at the gate. As the anthem was played as other travelers in the airport stopped and saluted the children.
The children were traveling to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on an all-expenses-paid trip, courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Snowball Express Program, which provides the trip for Gold Star families.
Jen Tringale captured the moment and shared it on her Facebook on Saturday with this caption:
“I witnessed an international airport come to a complete stop today … At the Nashville airport I walked out into the concourse to this scene @americanairlines was flying a plane full of children who had lost a parent in combat to Disneyworld [sic] on an all-expenses-paid trip and they threw a party for them at the gate. But when they announced them over the loud speaker and they lined up to board the plane, the whole airport literally stopped and sang the national anthem with military present in salute. Most every person standing around, myself included, was bawling at the sight of these kids and spouses who have paid so great a price for our country. To see all of this at Christmas time was so humbling. Seeing the general public in an airport stand still to honor these kids was simply beautiful.”
Actor Gary Sinise posted a photo of the children on Twitter, saying, “Over 1000 Gold Star Children travel [with] surviving parent, 1,750 in all to Disney World today—- I’ll join up in a few days. Have fun kids! We love you!” (RELATED: First Lady Makes A Little Girl’s Christmas Dream Come True)
Over 1000 Gold Star Children travel w/ surviving parent, 1,750 in all, via @americanair to Disney World today as part of our @GarySiniseFound Snowball Express program. This charter left LAX this morning. I’ll join up in a few days. Have fun kids! We love you! pic.twitter.com/OfMEpVF1er
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) December 8, 2018
The video of the heartwarming moment has been shared over 20,000 times on Facebook.