ATLANTA - A flag meant for a fallen military member got lost in the shuffle at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, but a determined worker found a way to use it to honor the soldier’s memory.
Donna Coole, who works in the airport’s lost and found department, came across the American flag and became concerned after months passed. She asked permission to take it home to replace an old one she had.
“My fear was it might get left on a shelf or in some dark, musty closet and forgotten or worse, thrown in the garbage,” Coole said.
But when Coole started looking at the flag closer, she noticed it was different. With some research, she learned it was the type of flag draped over a fallen soldier's casket. She called all the military branches but couldn't track down where it was supposed to be.
Coole just couldn't let it go and now, in a special ceremony, the flag of the unknown soldier has been put on display at the airport's United Service Organization as a reminder of someone who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“Every time I walk through the airport and see someone in uniform, I want to hug them. I want to thank them,” Coole said.
She hopes people stop and look at the flag to reflect on what it means.
“It's a symbol of freedom, what our country is based on, what brought us here,” Coole said.
The flag is displayed in a visible place at the USO office so that troops coming and going through the airport can see it.