A fallen US airman making his final trip home was disrespected by the passengers on a Phoenix flight.
Before the plane landed, the captain and the flight attendants asked the passengers to please remain seated while Staff Sergeant Andre Taylor’s casket was removed and presented to the family who was waiting on the tarmac for their brave soldier to come home.
Ken Fitzgerald, a retired airman, was also on that plane.
“We have a fallen soldier onboard, fallen airman and we ask you to remain seated as we pull into the gate until he can be escorted off the aircraft first,” Fitzgerald said.
However, when the plane reached the gate, the fallen airman’s escort headed for the door and most passengers got on their feet and headed out.
“I was just in shock. I was looking at them and I was like, are you kidding me?!” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald took video of the passengers but says it wasn’t to shame them but for others to view it and learn how to show respect during the transport of a fallen service member.
I did speak with the family of SSgt. Andre Taylor.
“I was saddened by the disrespect people had displayed on the plane that day but now I’m just so overwhelmed by the love and support my brother and family has received [sic] because of that disrespect. It has really helped my family get through this hard time,” his sister Tiffany Dobson said.
In his Facebook post, Fitzgerald wrote, “Pretty damn disappointed in people today!” and multiple commenters wondered what has become of our society if we now think of ourselves before the men and women who gave their life for our freedom. Fitzgerald told Popular Military:
“Before we loaded in Phoenix, people were watching from the terminal as Staff Sgt. Taylor’s remains were loaded into the aircraft … The really sad thing … we arrived to Michigan early, and people still rushed to get off the plane — really sad.”
Now, there is an etiquette you need to follow. This is supposed to be an emotional trip. Sometimes the fallen soldier’s family is on board the plane and simply bringing him or her home to their final resting place.
These people are disrespectful, rude and have no idea what that family was going through that day. Apparently these passengers were so involved with their live that they could not take a moment to honor Taylor.
Transporting the fallen soldiers to their final resting place has an unwritten rule to show some respect. They should have been honored to be on that flight with him, who gave his life fighting for the freedom that they have and enjoy.
Sources:Independent Journal Review
Video Source: Facebook/Ken Fitzgerald