What honor looks like: The flash mob at Gate 38 of Reagan National AirportHonor is a hard term to describe. It doesn’t have a color or weight or shape. If someone were to ask me what honor looked like, I’d probably struggle with what to say.
But something happened on May 23, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. at Gate 38 of Reagan National Airport that might change that. A flash mob of sorts broke out. But not like you’ve seen on YouTube with highly choreographed dance numbers or people singing a song in unison. In fact, virtually all of the participants of this “flash mob” didn’t know they would be participating until moments before it happened.
Let me explain. Shortly before 9:30 over the
But – then it happened and frankly, I wasn’t expecting it. All throughout the terminal, people left their gates and gathered around gate 38. A few active
Someone held up an old newspaper from 1945 that had a banner headline that said, “Nazis Quit!” And when I saw that newspaper, I realized that World War II wasn’t just a chapter in a history book. It was men and women who saw an evil like the world has never seen before and traveled across the world to meet that evil. And they defeated it.
I wonder if in 1945, any of those brave soldiers could ever imagine that 67 years later, we’d still be basking in the freedom that they preserved. And some of those heros were about to walk through Gate 38.
The first soldier walked through the door. Old, frail and needing help walking. And every person I could see in the entire airport stood and applauded. No – maybe cheered is more like it.
But here’s the thing – the applause didn’t stop. For a full 20 minutes, as veteran by veteran stepped out of the jet way, the US Airways wing of Reagan National Airport thundered in appreciation. Travelers stepped out for the opportunity to shake their hand while others held back tears.
This is the America we picture in our heads. Heros getting a hero’s welcome and those who enjoy the freedom adequately conveying their gratitude.
Now, I know what honor looks like.