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youtube.com/Inside Edition
Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition

Widow Seen Kissing Husband's Coffin Covered with the American Flag: 'Another Angel's Coming Home'

Ayesha Muhammad
Jun 20, 2022
04:30 P.M.
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In a heartbreaking turn of events, a woman clad in black walked over and placed her hands on a flag-draped coffin, breaking down in tears. Millions of people witnessed the profoundly moving scene after it went viral online.

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The people who love us have our best interests at heart and might even risk their own lives to protect us. But imagine what goes through the mind and heart of a soldier who has been tasked with safeguarding the life and freedom of every citizen of the state.

Thanks to these brave warriors' sacrifices, we can enjoy the freedom and liberty of being with our loved ones and leading a happy and fulfilling life. Every day, their sole priority is to shield us from danger and fear, and they never think twice before putting their own life on the line.

Tara Thomas places her hand on the flag-draped coffin. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition

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A LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER

It takes courage, bravery, selflessness, and love to think about others and ensure that people fall asleep feeling safe every night. The story we're sharing today centers around the countless sacrifices that sometimes go unnoticed and the pain and grief people silently endure.

Shawn David Thomas lived with his wife, Tara Thomas, and four children, Cheyenne, Taylor, Gavin, and Natylyn, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In addition to being a loving husband and a wonderful parent, Shawn was also a Special Forces warrant officer.

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GONE TOO SOON

In early 2017, Warrant Officer 1 Shawn Thomas, of 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, was on his eighth deployment in Niger, Africa, when he met with an accident. His obituary read:

"On February 2nd, 2017, Shawn was killed in a vehicle accident while deployed to Niger Africa. This was Shawn's 8th deployment defending our freedom while doing a job that he loved."

35-year-old Shawn was an Echo in the Special Forces and a Green Beret. In December 2016, he graduated from Warrant Officer school. The officer settled in North Carolina with his wife and four kids.

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Soldiers are pictured standing next to the flag-draped coffin. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition

A PROFOUNDLY HEART-RENDING SIGHT

Shawn was a big-bearded man with tattoos and huge muscles, but underneath that, he was a small-town Oklahoma kid who was grounded by his beliefs, values, and family.

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However, seeing the passengers' reactions around her, Williams decided to do something more.

On February 14, 2017, Shawn's flag-draped coffin arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville, North Carolina. A video captured by Lisa West Williams, a passenger on the airplane, showed soldiers moving Shawn's coffin off the plane as a woman clad in black walked toward it.

Lisa Williams West, the passenger on-board who shot the video. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition

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The grieving lady gently placed her hands on the stripes and stars on the U.S. flag and broke down in tears as she stood in the pouring rain. She was slumped over her late husband's coffin and couldn't stop kissing and embracing it.

Williams said she shot the footage from the jetliner's window and also narrated how she couldn't control her tears. She added:

"It just so happened [that] I was in the perfect position [to shoot] the perfect scene. Oh, I cried. I cried like a baby. I blubbered and I snotted, just like I was a child. It was heartbreaking."

Tara Thomas places both her hands on the flag-draped coffin and breaks down. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition

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"ANOTHER ANGEL'S COMING HOME"

But the passenger noted that she wasn't the only one impacted by the moving sight. The passengers around her felt the same way, and many had an emotional meltdown. Williams expressed:

"They were just amazed and they were crying. You could hear sniffles. The lady behind me actually said, 'Oh, another angel's coming home."

When asked why Williams felt the urge to record the heartbreaking scene, she said she wanted to show it to her children and tell them about the sacrifices the brave officers made every day. However, seeing the passengers' reactions around her, Williams decided to do something more.

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Lisa West Williams. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition

HONORED, PRAISED, AND LOVED

The woman said she reached out to Tara, wife of late Warrant Officer Shawn, and sought her permission to share the video online. Soon afterward, Williams shared the touching footage on social media, where it garnered millions of views. She revealed:

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"She [Tara] wanted to show the world that this goes on and that we should be thankful for these men and women."

During his service, Shawn was honored with two Bronze Stars and Good Conduct Medals. He was posthumously awarded a Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his work in Niger. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tara is joined by her family as she breaks down standing near her late husband's coffin. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition

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NETIZENS REACT

Many netizens left encouraging comments for Tara and her brave late husband, Shawn. One user wrote: "Freedom isn't free; it's paid with the lives of brave men and women." A second one, who described himself as an Aussie soldier, said:

"It still hits me, nearly a decade later, that this could have been my wife standing over my coffin. But one Marine gave his life to save mine, and my mate. I never knew him. I didn't catch his name. But it is his sacrifice that allowed me to come home to my kids."

Another user added: "So thankful for our troops, and also so sad that we live in a violent world that needs them. God bless this fallen hero and his grieving wife and family. This was an important video for all to see."

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What an unspeakable and profoundly heartbreaking sight. Our fallen heroes should not be forgotten. Please like and share this heart-touching story with your family and friends if you also think so.

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