We met online. He lived in NY and I lived in CA. For a year we flew back and forth, coast to coast, to see each other once a month. Finally, I moved to NY to be near him. A few months later, I planned a trip back to CA, to visit family and friends. My boyfriend, a Port Authority Police officer, (one of our 9/11 heros), was working at JFK Airport and came to my departure gate to say his goodbyes in full uniform. As I sat in the first row of the airplane, I looked up, shocked to see my boyfriend board the aircraft, pick up the intercom and begin to speak. "Ladies and Gentlemen," he said, "can everyone hear me ok?" The packed airplane went stunned into silence as they looked up the stately officer in front of them. "My name is Sgt. Grossi, and I am afraid I cannot let this plane leave the way it is today." There were gasps everywhere, and then he continued. "I cannot let this plane leave the way it is today, because there is a lady on board this flight that I love with all my heart." You could hear and feel the reverberating sighs of relieve as all tensions drained away and the romantic "ahhhhh’s" began. He looked down at me and said, "Jennifer, we started our journey a year and a half ago on an airplane, just like this.
I thought it only fitting that we begin the next part of our journey also on an airplane like this." Thunderous clapping errupted from all over the airplane as he knelt down in front of me, opened the palm of his hand the held a sparkling diamond ring and asked me, "Jennifer, will you marry me?" I threw my arms around his neck and cried out with great enthusiasm, "YES! of course, yes!!!" As the airplane calmed down once again, an enormous bouquet of pink roses was brought on board by a fellow Police Officer and given to me. At that moment, Stephen looked at me and said with a mischiveous smile, "I believe that seat next to you, belongs to me." And with that he removed his uniform and handed it to the fellow officer, to reveal his street clothes underneath and indicated that he would be joining me on my trip to California. I was in heaven! We grinned and chatted in our seat as the airplane settled down, the doors closed and we began to move toward the runway. BUT, that wasn’t the end.
Suddenly, the captain came over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, if you look out both sides of the airplane, you will see that the Police Department is saluting our newly engaged couple as one of their own." As with all of the passengers, we swiftly moved to the window to see a row of fully lit police cars lined up sidey by side, their prospective officers standing at attention as our airplane moved past them. Truly an amazing sight. And if that wasn’t enough, 200 yards beyond this salute, we were greeted by two of the oversized police department yellow firetrucks, one on either side of our path. Combined, the two trucks were shooting a gigantic arch of water over our runway. Our airplane glided right underneath this water arch as we made our way to take off. And, as if painted by the hands of God to salute our new engagement, our packed plane, my new fiance and I took off into the cloudless sky, just as the sun began to set. Never before and never again have I ever heard of a more romantic engagement story. I feel blessed beyond words to be loved so much by such a remarkable man. (P.S. 1 year later, we took the same flight back to California, when we landed another passenger came to us and said, "aren’t you the man who proposed on a flight in April of last year?," when Stephen replied "yes." The man told of how he and his wife had been on that flight too and how the story still lingered with them!)
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