Moving sendoff for children of fallen soldiers at Nashville airport goes viral


Travelers stood and service members saluted at the sound of the National Anthem, as children got ready to board the Snowball Express. 

American Airlines was flying Gold Star families to Disney World on Saturday. The staff threw a party at the gate for the children who have sacrificed a parent in combat. 

The moment was witnessed by many and captured by Jen Tringale, an international author and speaker, based in Nashville, who happened to be at the airport Saturday morning. Her video and her description of the moment have touched people across the country. 

At the Nashville airport I walked out into the concourse to this scene @americanairlines was flying a plane full of children who had lost a parent in combat to Disneyworld on an all-expenses-paid trip and they threw a party for them at the gate❤️But when they announced them over the loudspeaker and they lined up to board the plane the whole airport literally stopped and sang the national anthem with military present in salute. Most every person standing around, myself included was bawling at the sight of these kids and spouses who have paid so great a price for our country. To see all of this at Christmas time was so humbling. Seeing the general public in an airport stand still to honor these kids was simply beautiful. 

Tringale was moved to share the experience. Her video has been seen 944,000 times.

She told News 2, “It was a beautiful moment to happen upon and witness for such a worthy cause, both to the well-being of those children and families, to the morale of patriotism and to the overall goodness that still exists in people – especially at Christmas”   

The Snowball Express is a project of the Gary Sinise Foundation. Every December they partner with American Airlines to host a 5-day event for 1,750 children and surviving parents to give them a chance to have some fun and meet other children with the same experience.

Jen Tringale is an international author and speaker. @jentringale,

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