Profoundly moving images of a grieving wife slumped over the casket of her Green Beret husband have been seen by nearly 1 million Facebook users.
Lisa Williams filmed the weeping widow from the window of a jetliner at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina last week. Passengers had been asked to stay seated while the woman was escorted off the plane.
Warrant Officer Shawn Thomas, 35, was killed in a vehicle accident in Niger, where he trained local troops and supported communities in fighting terrorist groups, according to his obituary.
His wife, Tara Thomas, approached his flag-draped coffin after it had been removed from the belly of the passenger jet. She placed a hand over the Stars and Stripes and bowed her head.
Swaying in sadness, she bent over her husband’s coffin and sobbed, her shoulders shaking. The couple has four children.
Inside the quiet plane, passengers softly wept.
“It was an honor to fly home with this PATRIOT! God bless his wife and family. There was not a dry eye around me,” Williams wrote on Facebook.
On her cell phone video, Williams can be heard sniffling and crying as the scene unfolded under a light rain. "I cried like a baby," she told Inside Edition. "A lady behind me said 'Another angel is coming home.'''
Williams said the widow had reached out to her and thanked her for the video. “She wanted people to realize that this goes on every day,” Williams told WNCT-TV.