In North Carolina, there is a playground that looks like almost any other playground. You can see a large, blue slide. You can see brightly colored bars and safe bridges for climbing. You can also see a set of swings. At first glance, you would image this playground to be rather unremarkable. However, a group of children inhabiting a playground can quickly turn it into a point of interest. This is especially true if the children do something so heartwarming and patriotic it becomes something seen around the world.
The playground is located at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Since 1943, this base has been a home to some of America’s finest. On a beautiful day in March 2011, a group of children can be seen on the swings of the playground. They are swinging, laughing, and talking. Danielle, the mother of some of the children, decided to start recording a video of the children from a distance. The children didn’t know Danielle was recording their every move. What happened next on that playground was incredible.
The sound of the retreat began to be heard across the base. As soon as the sound reached the ears of the children on the playground, they immediately stopped what they were doing. Instead of skipping, laughing, and swinging, the children all stood at full attention. All of the children gave their utmost respect to the sound. Not one of them can be seen giggling, wiggling, or showing any signs of annoyance with the sound interrupting their play. Danielle was pleased with the response of her children and their friends. However, she wasn’t surprised. “When colors sound this is what happens,” Danielle said. “And what SHOULD happen!” After the last fading sounds are heard by the children, they quickly pick up where they left off. They jump back on the swings, and they start being children again. It almost seems like what happened only seconds before was in a dream.
In the video, you can easily see that the children are different ages. However, notwithstanding the age differences, the reactions of all of the children remain completely the same. Also, none of the children seem to be reminding the other children of the proper course of action after hearing the sound. Nobody shames anyone into compliance. Each child stood at full attention simply because he or she wanted too. It was a completely voluntary response for each child, and it makes the video even more incredible.
Danielle said this was a common occurrence for her children and their friends, and Danielle didn’t want to ever forget this part of being a family in the military. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it doesn’t look Danielle or anyone will be forgetting it anytime soon. The short video already has 1.5 million views. Many people watching the video think it is incredible to see children display so much respect. Additionally, military folks have taken the time to comment on the video. “You did a fine job raising your children Marine,” one person wrote. “I was stationed there back in 72 and noticed the kids at that time were the same way. You should be very proud of them.”
What about you? Do you think Danielle should be proud of these children? Are you proud of them? Let us know in the comments below. Afterwards, take a moment to consider how you can show our military professionals a little more respect. If children can take the time out of their carefree play to show the proper amount of respect, adults can find a way too!