Doctor Claims Attempt to Sing National Anthem on Plane to Honor Soldier Was Shut Down
The doctor says she was trying to pay tribute to a fallen soldier whose remains were aboard, but Delta said singing the national anthem was against policy.
Dr. Pamela Gaudry, a renowned obstetrician, says she was on a Delta flight last weekend that was carrying the remains of 29-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright from Philadelphia to Atlanta.
The Green Beret was killed in a raid in Niger two weeks ago, and was being escorted home by another soldier.
“I just did the most uncourageous thing in my life today,” she said in a Facebook video. "The captain came on and asked us if we would all remain seated while the soldier got off the plane first and while the honor guard took the deceased soldier out of the plane.”
Dr. Gaudry, the widow of a Navy captain, says she went from seat to seat asking other passengers to join her in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" to honor the fallen soldier.
That's when she says she was quickly shut down.
“The chief flight attendant came up to my seat and she knelt down and she said, 'It is against company policy to do what you're doing.' And I said, 'The national anthem — and there is a soldier on board?' And she said, ‘Yes, you cannot sing the national anthem’,” she claimed.
She filmed the Facebook video after getting off the plane.
“I am 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 on Facebook.
On social media, a debate is raging.
"You are a true patriot and outstanding American," was one comment on the video.
Others pointed out that military protocol calls for silence during such a ceremonial act.
"People pay tribute in many ways and we are honored that this was her attempt to do so," Wright's brother, William, who is also a U.S. Army vet, told Inside Edition.
In a statement to Inside Edition, Delta said: "Our employees worldwide take great pride in Delta’s longstanding support of the military. 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.
"Delta does not have a policy regarding the national anthem. We have reached out to the customer and are looking into this situation."
Dr. Gaudry says the airline apologized to her and she accepted.
A memorial fund has been set up for Sgt. Wright on GoFundMe. Click here for more information.
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