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Southwest Airlines employee serenades mother of slain Arizona state trooper

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4/9/2019 David Oliver
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The mother of a fallen Arizona state trooper received a heartfelt greeting − via song − from a Southwest Airlines operations agent aboard a March flight from Phoenix to Louisville, Kentucky.

Debbie Edenhofer's son Tyler Edenhofer, a trooper at the Arizona Department of Public Safety, was killed in July in a struggle on Interstate 10 in Phoenix. During a March 22 flight aboard Southwest, operations agent Scott Wirt called attention to the fact that the late trooper's mother was on the flight and sang "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban in her honor.

Wirt and Debbie Edenhofer have since struck up a friendship.

"It was all so real," Edenhofer told USA TODAY. "I was the last one on the plane, now Scott and I are friends, as he found me on Facebook and we exchanged numbers. It’s so amazing how people come into your life. Scott is a very nice and caring person."

Wirt said he simply wanted to honor her son's legacy.

"It’s a passion of mine to be able to give back to our customers in the way I know how and that’s by singing," Wirt said in a statement to USA TODAY. "This particular story touched my heart and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their son’s legacy by singing such a wonderful song. We never know why someone is traveling but when we do we want to be there for them."

a man wearing a uniform © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

A fellow passenger, Sean Warren, filmed Wirt singing over the intercom. His post on Facebook has since been viewed more than 70,000 times. 

"I just want you to know I think we should have more interruptions like this," Warren wrote in his now-viral post. "In fact, it is no interruption at all. It actually makes things quite clear. And it shares, in a public way, a private burden this family carries." 

He thanked Wirt "for leading us and for honoring them," and added to Edenhofer " 'thank you' seems so utterly inadequate. May you be blessed daily in your thoughts of your son’s service and sacrifice. May heaven give you in abundance what you missed here on earth."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Southwest Airlines employee serenades mother of slain Arizona state trooper

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