Saturday, July 2, 2011

Gratitude Opens Every Door

(Excerpted from

The following story really struck a chord when I read it! You see, DH and I experienced the same thing last fall at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport!

Maybe it was one of those “you had to be there” moments; but I still appreciate Sara Rigler’s telling:

* * * * *

One of the most moving scenes I ever witnessed took place at Gate B2 of the Baltimore airport.

I had set down my carry-on and taken out my prayer book, when I suddenly heard a sound I had never before heard in any airport: applause.

Are people greeting a rock star?, I wondered. 
A couple of minutes later another wave of applause picked me up and carried me to Gate B2 where a crowd of about 30 people was gathered. Lined up against the wall were 5 uniformed sailors and sundry civilians, including a TSA official.

I weaved my way through to glimpse the object of all this adulation. At the entrance to the jet-way I spotted him: an old man in a wheelchair.

The follow pushing the wheelchair stopped to let the old man absorb his rousing welcome. The man smiled and weakly lifted his right hand to acknowledge the crowd. As the wheelchair slowly moved past the receiving line, the sailors saluted, others nodded, and the TSA official stepped forward, shook the old man’s hand and said in a heartfelt voice, “Thank you for your service.”

A quiet lull ensued, and then another round of applause for the next deplaning passenger – another old man, standing wobbly on his own legs, leaning on a cane. He paused, looked up in surprise at his hero’s welcome, as if not quite understanding all the hullabaloo, then continued his limping gait.  He stopped only when the TSA official stepped forward, grasped his hand and said, “Thank you for your service.”

What’s going on here””, I asked the young woman beside me.

“They’re WWII veterans; they’ve come to see their monument in Washington DC.”

When the last wheelchair rolled off, I approached the official:
“I want you to know that I was very moved at how you thanked each and every veteran.” I told him.   “We all clapped, but you were the only one who put the gratitude into words. And words are very important.”

“Well,” he said humbly, “I myself served, so I know what they’ve been through.”
Unexpressed gratitude is like a gift purchased and wrapped, but never given.

Gratitude opens every door!

Happy Spiritual Sunday ...
and Happy Independence Day!

(Please, stay safe out there!)


  1. Thank you for this story. It was very touching. I, myself, have been brought to tears several times when military planes deboard at international terminals and everyone stops to applaud as they all come out. I think God for their service.

  2. What a heart warming and heart wrenching story! I am thankful for them too. Have a very 'cool' 4th.

  3. Touched my heart. The sacrifice of our soldiers -- and their families -- is beautiful.


  4. What a beautiful experience. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Oh, I wish I could have seen it. All veterans and soldiers make my heart swell, but there is just something really special about an old veteran.

    And I loved that part about unexpressed gratitude. That's very convicting!

  6. This is such a great post to read as we celebrate another birthday of our country!

  7. HI MEVERLY!!!!
    I am so Blessed to have 2 daughters that I love, cherish and adore and I feel truly loved back. I experienced something yesterday that quite shocked me and nearly l;eft me sick to my stomach all the way HOME, it is a story of a mother and daughter.....but not what I day I shall share.
    But first WHAT A GREAT POST and what an HONOR to witness this. I AGREE about showing Gratitude, it is something we all have deep in our hearts and for others like you it is very near to you so eager to get out and share.
    We must ALL have a Grateful attitude if not we are doomed to live a life of ME-ME-ME. How sad.
    God Bless you sweetie


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