Things happen on our trips that are often unexplainable, things that can only be described as divine. This special moment happened to two Korean War combat vets from Minnesota who joined us in Washington for our October Trip of Honor.
We spent four nights in DC, so believe me, we develop quite a friendship with Tony and Frank after being together for that many days. It was so much fun to teach them to say, “Y’all” and “Fixin” and they promised they would return to the North with their new “improved” language. But just before it all ended, the most remarkable thing happened.
On departure day, their flight left out of D.C. an hour after our’s, so Delta took them to company’s VIP suite so they could relax before their flight. While there, two Air Force officers asked them if they would like to participate in a ceremony. Tony and Frank were interested, but didn’t want to miss their flight. Delta promised they’d get them back in time for their departure.
The Korea combat vets were taken down to the flight line where two caskets were being removed from an aircraft, to be taken to Arlington Cemetery for burial. One casket held the remains of two crewmembers from an aircraft that had crashed and the other held the body of another serviceman, all located near the border.
What border, you ask? Afghanistan? No, these caskets contained the remains of casualties from…the Korean War. Tony and Frank saluted as they brought their comrades home from Korea after 60 years.
What are the odds of Korean War servicemen being brought home for burial in Arlington and being welcomed by two of their own? Two men who had been there, in combat, and now they were there… saluting and remembering the sacrifice of their comrades. If it had been 15 minutes earlier or later, they couldn’t have participated in this emotional homecoming. Only God could arrange something like this. To those Korean servicemen who gave their lives for freedom, welcome home to America. It makes me sad to think their precious lives were cut short and the hurt their families had to endure in this great loss.
Rest in Peace. You are not forgotten.