As Americans we teach our children that it is our patriotic duty to support our country, along with the men and women who serve in the military. We honor our troops during national holidays, parades and sometimes as a random act of kindness when we see a soldier out in public.
This love of nation is not exclusive to the United States, as one Belgian boy teaches us. During one cloudy afternoon, this young boy stands at attention, waiting patiently for Canadian troops to pass him by on the road. What he does next is an inspiration.
As people, young and old, walk alongside the boy and others ride past him, he quietly waits for the troops to get closer. There is only group deserving of his praise and admiration. He has arrived that day in full uniform, ready for the salute of a lifetime.
As the troop’s inch closer, the boy is clearly more and more eager to do what he seems to have been waiting all day to do. People continue to pass by, but still they are not worthy of his special salute.
Just then, he gives an unknown person a “thumbs-up” letting them know he is ready. The men, in uniform, march on in unison. The boy raises one foot up and stomps it to the ground, at the same time with his small hand he gives a crisp salute, holding it firm and unwavering so that every soldier can see he is supporting him. He stands rigid and silent until every last soldier has passed.
This is a both heartwarming moment and also a sad one. While this boy is absolutely proud to stand at attention and salute the Canadian troops, there are also many people that walk past, seemingly oblivious to their patriotic duty. Hopefully, this boy and his family will cherish this reminder of the powerful moment that was documented.