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Flight Carrying Fallen Soldier Doesn't Allow Anthem (Photo) - Opposing Views

Flight Carrying Fallen Soldier Doesn't Allow Anthem (Photo)

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A Delta Air Lines flight attendant stopped passengers from singing the national anthem after they learned that the flight was carrying the remains of an Army Green Beret killed in Africa. 

Georgia doctor Pamela Gaudry and other passengers on her flight decided to sing the national anthem as the coffin carrying Staff. Sgt. Dustin Wright was unloaded by soldiers, according to WTOC. 

According to Gaudry, a flight attended stopped their plan, saying it broke company rules for passengers to sing the national anthem. 

"I said, 'It's the national anthem,' and she said, 'It is against company policy to do that and so we are going to land and everybody is going to stay in their seats and be quiet,'" Gaudry said, according to WTOC. 

In a video posted on Facebook that has been seen more than 600,000 times as of Oct. 16, Gaudry said she wished she had defied the flight attendant and sang the national anthem, anyway.

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"I'm humiliated by my lack of courage to sing the national anthem in my own country on American soil with a deceased soldier on the plane," she said. "I just sat there with tears rolling down my face. Hundreds of thousands of people now know that Dustin Wright died for our country and there were a lot of people on that plane that wanted to honor him. Hundreds of thousands of people are praying for this family now that weren't."

In a lengthy follow-up Facebook post, Gaudry said Delta contacted her and claimed it is not their policy to prevent passengers from singing the national anthem. 

"Evidently they had a flight attendant that made some bad decisions in trying to make this situation go away," Gaudry posted on Facebook. "They are going to do some training for the future."

Another reason given by the flight attended for not allowing the national anthem was that people from other countries were on board and were "'uncomfortable' and 'offended' with this," according to Gaudry. 

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Gaudry also said that she does not want people to boycott Delta, as the company was "very reverent and let the honor guards do a wonderful thing to honor each and every soldier that comes home with this beautiful tribute."

Sergeant Wright was one of four American soldiers killed by militants during an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4, according to The New York Times.

He enlisted in the Army in 2012, following the lead of his parents and older brother, who are all veterans. 

"Dustin had a very strong desire to serve his country and to serve others," his aunt told The Times. "I think he would have joined the military regardless of whether he had a family connection or not."

Sources: WTOC, Pamela Dee Gaudry/Facebook (2), The New York Times / Featured Image: The U.S. Army/Flickr / Embedded Images: Staff Sgt. Daniel Bowles/U.S. Air Force, Jennifer Munoz/WGXA

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