As 60 World War II veterans lined up for a flight out of Detroit Metro Airport, a Delta Airline employee and Italian interpreter, Anna Marie Barile, was coaxed by colleagues to sing the Star Spangled Banner over the intercom. It was a touching tribute to these courageous men.
It brought the airport to a standstill. Passengers stood as a sign of respect.
Another interpreter told WXYZ-TV, “Everybody in the boarding area had tears in their eyes.”
The veterans were heading to France Monday, one was on his way to Omaha Beach to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day coming up on Friday, June 6.
Passenger Alyssa Vermeulen, on her way to Italy via Paris for her honeymoon, filmed the scene on her phone and uploaded it to YouTube.
“I was worried that something had happened, but when I asked my husband, he said that we had several WWII veterans on the plane,” Vermeulen told TODAY.com. “Shortly after, the flag appeared out of the gate and everyone stood for the national anthem.
“It was a lovely display of patriotism in such a crazy place,” she said. “Usually, airports are a high stress environment where people are rushing to connections, frantically gathering items, or anxiously waiting (for) their zone call to board, but for a few minutes everyone in the airport was standing, quiet and peaceful, showing respect to those who fought for our freedom.”
Vermeulen was touched by the tribute. She told TODAY that her grandfather served as a Marine in World War II.
More information at Syracuse.com