September 23, 2012

The significance of remembrance

On the left is a poster with photos, names, and stories about those lost in combat. The center and right are posters with handwritten messages to the troops. This is near gate C-1 at DFW airport.
A Texan advised me to arrive at Dallas Fort Worth airport extra early because the Transportation Safety Administration lines are notoriously long there. Turns out this is not the case at Terminal C at 11:15 on a Sunday morning. At least, not this morning. A zero-minute wait at TSA left me with two hours to kill before my flight.

Since I'm coming off a four-day writers' conference at which I totally ignored my calorie count, I figured I could use the time and get some exercise by walking from one end of the terminal to the other.

At the far end of DFW's Terminal C, which is occupied entirely by American Airlines, I found this Memory Wall. Posters contain messages of support for the armed forces, alongside the names, faces, and stories of military personnel killed in combat between Memorial Day 2011 and Memorial Day 2012.

I admit it's possible that American Airlines put up this display as a public relations stunt, so people like me will see it and tell the story. But I think that's unlikely. I think this is a gracious gesture by a company that transports members of the military on a regular basis and chose to honor their service and sacrifice. That this results in a little PR is a side effect.

I only hesitated to write this post for a moment. If a company is going to make an effort to show love for our troops, I can take a few minutes to share the story. If an endorsement of American Airlines is implied, so be it.

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