More than 70 years after an American soldier gave his life for his country on a battlefield in World War II, he came home to the United States. His remains were boarded on a Delta Airlines Flight in Frankfurt, Germany, and bound for Atlanta, Georgia on July 18th. Over the plane’s speaker, the pilot informed the passengers on the flight that a private with the U.S. Army would be escorting the soldier’s remains off the plane before other passengers would be allowed to embark, which is standard practice when the remains of soldiers are being transported. Sometimes flights carrying the remains of soldiers are called Honor Flights.
The group of young people on board the plane weren’t alive when the soldier served his country (and their country), but that didn’t stop this amazing group of kids from honoring the hero in the best way they could imagine. As it happens, a large group on board the Delta flight was a high school choir from Iowa. The Iowa Ambassadors of Music choir was aboard the plane that fateful day and they all stood up and began to spontaneously sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Plenty of people had their phones out during the flight and one person was ready to record when the kids started singing. Note: for free, you can stream the U.S. Army Band and Soldiers’ Chorus singing the song on Amazon.
A passenger on the plane named Diane Cupp recorded the kids singing. Cupp is a 62-year-old woman from Johnson City, Tennessee, and she posted the video to Facebook. Before long, it went completely viral and news services all over the country picked up the story. These young people singing “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” was remarkably moving, according to Cupp.
She told Today that it was “so emotional” and she was very “proud of the young people” who were singing that day, and the respect they showed to a fallen soldier. The soldier’s remains were found on a French or German battlefield and identified via DNA testing, Cupp said. Watch the video below.