Four American soldiers were killed in Niger on October 4th. One of those men was flown home last weekend. When a group of passengers on the Delta flight that was bringing his body home heard the news, they wanted to sing the National Anthem. Delta wasn’t having, it, though, and told all of the passengers they were to stay seated and quiet.
[Scroll Down for Video]
The flight was coming into Delta’s hub at the Atlanta airport when Pamela Dee Gaudry heard the plane was carrying the body of 29-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, one of the four American soldiers killed in Niger.
Gaudry, the widow of a Navy veteran, asked others on the plane to sing with her.
“I thought it would be so amazing if we sang as they were getting off,” Gaudry said in her Facebook post (below). “It’s a great honor to the boy’s parents, wife and perhaps children.”
Not everyone on the plane was enthusiastic, but there were some who wanted to sing with her.
The flight crew, though, would not let them sing. As they neared the airport, Fox reports, “the chief flight attendant came up to her and informed her it was against Delta’s policy to sing the national anthem.”
The company wouldn’t let them sing out of fear the anthem might offend some passengers. They even made an official announcement over the intercom telling the passengers to remain quietly in their seats.
“I’m humiliated by my lack of courage to sing the national anthem in my own country on American soil, with a deceased soldier on the plane. I wish I could have been an example for my children,” Gaudry said. “I’m glad my former husband is deceased because he would have been profoundly disappointed in me.”
Delta Air Lines issued a statement to Fox:
“Our employees worldwide take great pride in Delta’s longstanding support of the military. The respectful ceremony of the Delta Honor Guard is one symbol of Delta’s pledge to the men and women of the armed forces, and it represents our broad commitment to our veterans and active-duty service members,” writes Delta in its statement.
“Delta does not have a policy regarding the national anthem. We have reached out to the customer and are looking into this situation.”
“Evidently, they had a flight attendant that made some bad decisions in trying to make this situation go away,” Gaudry said after Delta had talked to her. “They are going to do some training for the future. Delta was very reverent and let the honor guards do a wonderful thing to honor each and every soldier that comes home with this beautiful tribute. For just this reason, I personally do not believe in a boycott of Delta.”
“Delta has apologized to me. Profusely. I accept. Like many things in life … it should have been handled differently. I am not throwing any stones,” she added.