Travelers found themselves in tears last Wednesday night when they landed in Oklahoma City and learned that the body of fallen U.S. sailor Brooke Newton was aboard their Delta flight.
A passenger named Mike Helms shared the emotional moment on his Facebook page, writing that he and fellow travelers teared up after the pilot told them that Newton’s casket would be removed first from the plane — and asked for a moment of silence.
As her body was taken off the plane, the scene around her casket deeply moved him, KOCO-TV reported.
“As we sat there waiting, I decided to look out the window and this is what I saw. A mother and father hysterically crying on their fallen soldiers casket,” he wrote. “Standing off to the side were soldiers from her unit saluting their fallen soldier.”
My plane landed in Oklahoma City last night. When we stopped at the terminal, the pilot announced that he would like to…
It was a moment that he said hit him hard. And when he looked around, others were also emotional.
“I couldn’t hold back tears,” he wrote. “As I looked around the plane, I was hoping nobody would see my moment of weakness but to my surprise, damn near everyone on the plane was crying.”
Helms continued, “It was amazing to see everyone on that plane pay tribute to this woman and her family.”
He also delivered an important message about divisiveness and unity, saying that the tender moment brought people from all walks of life together in honor of Newton.
“I saw Americans paying respect to their countryman. A woman who put her life on the line for me, and you, and your freedoms,” he concluded. “She died like many before her to give you the right to spit in her face while taking a knee during our national anthem or burning our flag in the street.”
Newton, 25, died on August 30, 2017 in San Diego, California, according to her obituary. She served in the Air National Guard and later the Navy and was a person of faith.
“As a young child she accepted Christ as her savior and she was continually growing in her faith,” her obituary reads.