Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Why we will win

Andrew Sullivan posts this letter from a reader:

"In addition to all the flights that had been canceled on Sunday, the weather was terrible in Baltimore and the flights were backed up. So, there were a lot of unhappy people in the terminal trying to get home, but nobody that I saw gave the soldiers a bad time. By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours. United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take another flight. They weren’t getting many takers. Finally, a United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this, "Folks. As you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days of leave and we’re trying to get them where they need to go without spending any more time in an airport then they have to. We sold them all tickets, knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to know that we respect what you’re doing, we are here for you and we love you." At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people, a cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heart-felt applause.The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears. And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the soldiers went to Denver on that flight. That little moment made me proud to be an American, and also told me why we will win this war."

Discussions - 4 Comments

I’ve heard this story, or one very much like it, on several occasions. Crowded airport or airplane, delays, announcements about returning soldiers, then applause, concluding with a statement that the event "made me proud to be an American." Call me a cynic, but I’m starting to wonder whether it might be an urban legend.

My mistake--apparently this story has been deemed true by Snopes.com, the premier source for investigating urban myths.

How is the fact that Americans are giving up their plane seats to soldiers on leave prove we will win the war in Iraq?

Good point. At best it shows that Americans are generally favorably inclined toward their own military.

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