On the Ground

Cleared for Takeoff - Passenger airplane tales before takeoff.
(e.g., conversations with aircrew and passengers, weather, maintenance, delays)



I was waiting at my gate at DCA/Reagan airport in Washington, DC. There was an announcement  on the loudspeaker to come to that gate and greet some Congressional Medal of Honor recipients who would be deplaning shortly and visiting Washington, DC over the weekend. Over 10 heroes and their family members walked right by me and I shook most of their hands. I thanked everyone, including the family members. The heroes even thanked me for thanking them, and they were so humble - regular guys. I reflected and thought about some of the people I have met in professional circles and compared them to the heroes I greeted that day. The former group bragged about what is really not that important and not worth bragging about, and the latter group of heroes did not brag about what is truly important and is worth bragging about. As a war veteran, I felt a connection to them - but of course I know what they accomplished was much more than what I did or will ever do. As the old saying goes, I was honored and humbled by their presence and clapped as they passed by.