An emotional scene unfolded before the eyes of travelers at Dallas Love Field Airport on Thursday involving a son paying tribute to his late father in one of the most amazing ways this writer has ever seen or heard of.
Col. Roy Knight Jr. said goodbye to his then 5-year-old son at Dallas Love Field Airport in 1967 as he was departing to fight in the Vietnam War as a pilot in the Air Force. He would never see his son again.
As the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) reported in July, Col. Knight’s plane was “hit by anti-aircraft fire” while on a mission in northern Laos in May 1967. After years of receiving no signals from the aircraft, and the fact that a search couldn’t be conducted because of the hostile territory, “the Air Force declared Knight deceased in September 1974.”
Fast forward nearly 45 years, the remains of Col. Knight were officially identified after “possible human remains and additional life support items” were recovered a few months earlier.
Col. Knight’s little boy who he said goodbye to 52 years earlier? He became a pilot just like his father and was now working as a Southwest Airlines captain.
According to a statement from Southwest Airlines, Bryan Knight “learned that his father’s remains were positively identified” and decided that he wanted to fly his father home to the same airport that he said goodbye to him all those years ago.
Here’s the full statement, according to Fox News:
When Southwest Airlines Captain Bryan Knight was just five years old, he made a trip to Dallas Love Field to send his father, Col. Roy Knight, off to the Vietnam War. That day in 1967 would be the last day he saw his father as just a few months later Col. Knight’s jet was shot down and he went missing in action for decades.
Earlier this year, Captain Knight learned that his father’s remains were positively identified which began the mission of returning Col. Knight to his home in North Texas. Today, his son flew his father home to Love Field where he was received with full military honors to express a nation’s thanks for his dad’s service to our country. Our Southwest Airlines family is honored to support his long-hoped homecoming and join in tribute to Col. Knight as well as every other military hero who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces.
If that wasn’t enough to tug on your heartstrings, WFAA in Dallas posted a video to their YouTube page of Bryan Knight’s co-pilot telling the passengers on the plane the story of Col. Knight and his son who was bringing him home.
Take a look (Break out your tissues):
Washington Bureau Chief for Canada’s Global News Jackson Proskow was actually in the same terminal at Dallas Love Field Airport where Bryan Knight was pulling in the plane that was bringing his father home.
For Proskow’s report, as well as video of the flight’s arrival, watch below:
Welcome home, Col. Roy Abner Knight Jr.