Friday, September 03, 2010
Quietly Coming Home
I got to see something pretty cool last night. At a little bit after 1 o'clock Thursday morning, an MD80 aircraft, bringing several dozen military troops home, arrived in Springfield MO. The chartered airplane parked at the old terminal building to unload its passengers.
These men and women that had been away from their families serving our country, arrived home in the middle of the night with little fanfare. Except...
The guys that man the Fire and Rescue at the airport heard about the flight and wanted to do something to let the passengers know that they are special and that their sacrifice and service is greatly appreciated. They positioned two of the fire trucks to give a "water salute" as the aircraft taxied to the ramp.
The firetrucks station themselves far enough apart that the aircraft can easily taxi between them. As the aircraft approaches, they expel water from their cannons, forming an arch of water over the taxiing aircraft.
What made this really cool was that it was at 1 am, on a dark ramp...and there was nobody there to see it--only the troops themselves and their families. Having a small part in it (coordinating between the vehicles and the pilots) made me feel like it was a personal salute from me and the guys at the firehouse; a personal thank you to the troops; a welcome home. I found myself standing to watch it--not because standing gave me a better view, but because standing seemed like the right thing to do; the respectful thing to do.
I don't know where these troops had served. It really doesn't matter. What matters to their families is that they are safe and they are home.