Thomas Gallatin / Oct. 18, 2017

Corporate PC vs. Patriotism

The widow of a military veteran was denied the ability to honor a fallen soldier by singing the national anthem.

On a Delta Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta on Saturday, a U.S. soldier was flying with the body of his fallen comrade. During the flight it was announced that upon landing the passengers were to remain seated as the soldier deplaned and as the honor guard escorted the casket from the plane. Upon hearing the announcement, Pamela Gaudry, a widow of a career veteran, was inspired to honor the fallen soldier and went around the plane asking people if they would sing the national anthem with her once the plane landed while the honor guard removed the casket. She said that many but not all the passengers agreed to join her. Later, after she was back in her seat, she said, “The chief flight attendant came back to my seat and she kneeled down and she said, ‘It is against company policy to do what you’re doing.’ And I said, ‘The national anthem? And there’s a soldier onboard?’ And she said, ‘Yes, you cannot sing the national anthem. It is against company policy.’”

After the plane landed, all the passengers including Gaudry remained silent as the casket was removed. Feeling ashamed for remaining silent, however, Gaudry, upon exiting the plane, posted a video detailing her lack of courage and what she had been told about Delta’s policy. The video has since gone viral, and Delta spokesman Anthony Black responded stating, “There is not a policy about singing the national anthem, period.”

So where did the flight attendant come up with this false Delta policy idea? Part of the answer may be in another statement the flight attendant made. According to Gaudry, the flight attendant said that passengers from other countries might be made “uncomfortable” if the national anthem were to be sung. Ah, the politically correct sensitivity that says displays of American patriotism may be deemed offensive by some and therefore should be suppressed. There are times when common decency should trump corporate policy. And the desire to express honor and gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice should be an obvious occasion. Has sensitivity to political correctness so dulled our cultural value for the need to express common decency?

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