There’s not much to say about this photo. It was taken from the window of a plane I was on sitting at the gate at Las Vegas International Airport. I asked a flight attendant exactly what we were witnessing and she indicated that there was a war hero returning home to Las Vegas and this was a rehearsal for how the casket would arrive and be handled by the honor guard. My assumption is that these were probably members of the Army Reserve or National Guard organization that the returning soldier served with. I’m sure they would all return in full dress uniforms to welcome and handle their fallen comrades casket.
As a Vietnam era veteran myself, it was a very stirring moment. I noticed a few other men on the plane (there may have been some women veterans, too, but it’s easier to recognize the men) who were very solemn and even wiped tears from their eyes. Even though, to the best of our knowledge, the flag draped casket in the photo was most likely empty, it still stirred the emotions of those of us who watched.
Mostly when I travel I look for and I get to see the beauty of our country (or other parts of the world) and all the wonders of nature and man. But, moments like this occur, too. They are solemn reminders, once again, that freedom isn’t free and that the freedom we have and the lifestyles we live were paid for in blood.