This post from from ~35,000 ft on an American Airlines flight from Philly to Dallas on the 18th.
On my flight we have a number of American servicemen and women on their way home from Iraq. I can't imagine how happy they must be to be on their way home.
Once again, notwithstanding what one thinks of this or that US foreign-policy decision, I think it's imperative that we recognize and respect the debt we owe these young (and young they are) men and women for the time they've spent in harm's way and the job they continue to do. This fact wasn't lost on the passengers on today's flight.
As we made our final approach to Dallas, the pilot came on the intercom and thanked the soldiers "for all your service" and welcomed them home.
The spontaneous applause following the pilot's announcement made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Welcome home indeed and thank you. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday, all the best in 2004 and here's to the safe and soon return of your colleagues.