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A beautiful and emotional thing happened at the Nashville International Airport this week: people took a moment to pause from the busy hustle and bustle of travel to honor fallen American soldiers.
A viral video posted by author and speaker Jen Tringale shows the airport coming to an absolute standstill while a group of children who lost a parent in military combat boarded a plane bound for Walt Disney World.
Travelers gathered around Gate C10 to join in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" while members of the military gave a 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,” Tringale said in a caption on the video. “To see all of this at Christmas time was so humbling.”
The children were on their way to an all-expenses paid vacation as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s annual Snowball Express program where more than 1,700 children of fallen military heroes made the trip to Disney via flights from American Airlines.
“Seeing the general public in an airport stand still to honor these kids was simply beautiful,” Tringale added.
The moment was one of this week’s highs on Sunday TODAY’s “Highs and Lows” segment. “You’ve just got to watch that whole video on Facebook because you will sit at your computer in silence and be overcome by it,” host Willie Geist said of the viral video.
NBC News’ Morgan Radford agreed. “I got teary-eyed because I think that’s what patriotism is—it’s these small acts of kindness to people, but also to take a moment to just collectively honor people’s sacrifices,” she said. “That’s what being an American is all about.”