Delta passengers try to sing national anthem for fallen soldier. A flight attendant shuts them down.

Delta passengers try to sing national anthem for fallen soldier. A flight attendant shuts them down.
A Delta Air Lines flight attendant prevented customers on a plane carrying the body of a fallen U.S. soldier from singing the national anthem in his honor. (U.S. Department of Defense/National Security Archive via Getty Images)

Dr. Pamela Gaudry found out the hard way that singing the national anthem on a Delta Air lines aircraft might just ruffle some feathers.

In a weekend Facebook video, Gaudry described an idea she had while she was on a flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta after learning that a fallen U.S. soldier was on board.

What was in the video?

In her video, Gaudry — the wife of a deceased Navy captain — was tearful and relayed her story with a shaking voice.

“I just did the most uncourageous thing in my life today, and I’m sharing it,” Gaudry said. “I hope somehow it gets to people all around, even the President.”

Gaudry revealed that the flight crew announced Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright’s casket would be leaving the plane first.

She said that she went around the plane and asked all of the passengers if they would like to sing the national anthem as Wright’s casket was removed from the aircraft.

Gaudry said that most of the people she spoke to were quite receptive, and some even cried at the idea.

However, before Gaudry and the other passengers could begin, a flight attendant approached Gaudry and told her that they would not be able to sing the anthem, and said it was against Delta’s company policy to do so.

Gaudry, taken aback, told the flight attendant that she would not be the one to tell the passengers they couldn’t sing, so an announcement was made to the passengers over the plane’s intercom.

Gaudry reported that the flight attendant later told her that there were passengers from other countries who told the crew that they were not comfortable hearing America’s national anthem.

“I didn’t know what would happen to me if I started to sing,” Gaudry said. “I’m humiliated by my lack of courage to sing the national anthem on my own country on American soil, with a deceased soldier on the plane.”

She added, “I wish I could have been an example for my children. I’m glad my former husband is deceased. He would have been profoundly disappointed in me.”

Gaudry said that she hoped that the video would go viral, and that “people will know that it is a policy of Delta to not be able to sing the national anthem on one of their planes.”

Since sharing the video on Saturday, Gaudry’s video has received 2.7 million views.

What did Delta have to say?

In a statement obtained by The Hill, a spokesperson for Delta Air Lines revealed that the company does not actually have such a policy.

“The respectful ceremony of the Delta Honor Guard is one symbol of Delta’s pledge to the men and women of the armed forces, and it represents our broad commitment to our veterans and active-duty service members,” the spokesperson said.

“Delta does not have a policy regarding the national anthem. We have reached out to the customer and are looking into this situation,” the spokesperson added.

Did Gaudry respond to Delta’s statement?

Yes.

Gaudry shared an update on Sunday that revealed Delta had contacted her and had apologized for the miscommunication.

“Delta has apologized to me. Profusely. I accept,” Gaudry said.

116 Comments