Yesterday I was in the Hartford, CT airport named Bradley International. I was flying back to Charlotte from a beautiful wedding I attended. But perhaps the sentiment that struck me the most was when I was in line at security at the airport.
Bradley International has a separate room where they handle security. To get there you have to go through a set of doors. But there are two sets of doors, one for going through security and another to come from the secured area. The doors are located about 50 feet apart along the same wall where the security line forms. A group of American Legion members were huddled near the door where arriving passengers were coming through. They were mostly white males, age 55 or so. They had American Legion hats and vests on. I wasn’t sure if they were going somewhere or what they were doing. I found out as soon as the door opened. A man dressed in camouflage walked through and I heard “WELCOME HOME!” from one gentleman, “THANK YOU!” from another, and clapping from the others. The soldier was awestruck. He was surprised. He had a reluctant but happy smile on face as if to say he was just doing his job. But that is the point of Memorial Day, many people died just doing their job.
Several more soldiers walked through the door and several more examples of this took place. There were hand shakes and there were hugs.