Woman stopped from singing national anthem on Delta flight carrying fallen soldier

ATLANTA — A Georgia woman says she and other passengers on a Delta flight were prevented from singing the national anthem as crews unloaded the casket of a fallen soldier at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Pamela Dee Gaudry posted a video to Facebook where she explained that after learning the body of Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright was on her flight, she asked other passengers if they would join her in singing the national anthem as a show of respect, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. Wright was a special forces soldier among four U.S. troops killed in an attack in Niger on October 4.

“I thought it would be so amazing if we sang as they were getting off,” Gaudry said. “It’s a great honor to the boy’s parents, wife and perhaps children.”

Gaudry, the wife of a deceased Army captain, said some people were thrilled when she went around asking who’d like to join her in singing, while others politely declined.

As the flight was about to take off, Gaudry said the chief flight attendant approached her and said it was against Delta’s policy to sing the national anthem, and that staff made an announcement to all passengers telling them to remain seated and quiet.

“I’m humiliated by my lack of courage to sing the national anthem in my own country on American soil, with a deceased soldier on the plane. I wish I could have been an example for my children,” Gaudry said. “I’m glad my former husband is deceased because he would have been profoundly disappointed in me.”

Gaudry later said Delta contacted her about her flight, apologizing and explaining the flight attendant had been misinformed.

“Delta has contacted me… and this is NOT their policy. Evidently they had a flight attendant that made some bad decisions in trying to make this situation go away. They are going to do some training for the future,” she said. “Delta was very reverent and let the honor guards do a wonderful thing to honor each and every soldier that comes home with this beautiful tribute. For just this reason, I personally do not believe in a boycott of Delta.”

Gaudry said the Wright family has also reached out to her and “are appreciative of the effort.”


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