Thanks for visiting my site. It looks like you’ve landed on one of my older posts. Please check out my current work on technology and entrepreneurship starting on the main page

The Epitome of Selfishness

This story in the Washington Times will make you sick.  At Reagan National Airport passengers on overbooked flights refused to give up their seats so a family could accompany their Marine son home for his funeral.  A few volunteers stepped up, but not enough, and others wouldn’t budge, not even for $500.  Sickening.

The Marine was Lance Corporal Justin Wilson, 24 years old, he married his high school sweetheart the day before he deployed and made the ultimate sacrifice for his country when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.  His sacrifice was met by blank stares in an airport filled with selfish people, too preoccupied with their vacations or their jobs to care about him and his family.

This excerpt from the piece tells the story:

“So we stood there watching the family – dignified and mute, weighed with grief and fatigue – as the airline representative repeatedly called for assistance for this dead soldier’…s family. No one else stepped forward.  The calls for volunteers may have lasted only 20 or 30 minutes, but it seemed hours.”

I know I would have given up my seat, all I hope is that I would have had the courage to confront those who didn’t.  I wish the airline had read each passengers name, one by one, asking if they would give up their seat: “Paging Mr. Smith, are you willing to give up your seat for this dead Marine’s family? Or is your golf game too important?” “Paging Ms. Jones, this Marine died for his country, are you able to change your travel plans so his family can lay their son to rest?”  How could someone just sit there, knowing they were going to get on an airplane and that family, or part of that family wasn’t?  Would they feel no shame, no sense of guilt as their boarding pass was scanned?

Such a sad state of affairs.  Additional commentary here.  H/T Tom Ricks.

Gregory S. McNeal

Along with being a successful entrepreneur, I am a tenured Professor of Law and Public Policy at Pepperdine University. I teach courses related to technology, law, and policy, and serve as a faculty member with the Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship.


Material Connection: Some of the links in posts on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, my company will receive an affiliate commission. This disclosure is required by the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Related Posts