2 Seconds I’ll Never Forget

Posted on June 29 2015 in Business Culture, Travel


Last week I was standing in the Atlanta airport. There were thunderstorms all afternoon and the place was jammed. Delayed flights, stranded passengers, and frustration all around. I had been in meetings all day and made my way to the airport, only to find out my flight had been cancelled.

After some frustration and digging through my app, I was able to get rebooked and I waited the 3+ hours for my next flight.

As I made my way to the gate for that next flight it was clear the group around me was all feeling pretty worn out…the day and the grind of travel delays had taken it’s toll on everyone. Me included.

The plane arrived and the passengers were pouring out into the terminal as everyone in the boarding area was anxious to replace them on the plane back to Chicago.

After a few minutes…I saw him (and it).

An elderly man being pushed up the jet bridge in a wheel chair. He was wearing a hat that read “Veteran” — he was also wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor is America’s highest honor bestowed upon members of the military and is awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. There are less than 80 living recipients of the Medal of Honor.

He passed me and I was honestly speechless. And now I’m very sorry that I didn’t get to stop him and thank him for his service and everything he had done. I was frozen…and honestly in shock. But I’ll never forget it.

Remember that what most of us are doing may be important and valuable — but it probably is not life and death. Also, don’t be afraid to remind people of that. Most of all, let’s remember those who have served our country in such a big way.

Those two seconds will always be with me. And, will always remind me to be thankful and keep life in perspective.

Thanks for reading.

Semper Fi.

JP / USMC 1999–2003

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