One day, mom Amanda Reallan pulled up to Hayden Meadows Elementary School in Hayden, Idaho, and saw something that she thought others should be aware of.
“Wow! I just watched the most amazing act of Patriotism!” she wrote on Facebook.
Now, thousands have seen the sweet photo she snapped at the scene.
Telling her story
After posting the pic to her own social media, she sent it along to a website that collects inspirational stories, and it went viral from there.
“My name is Amanda Reallan. I’m a mother of three beautiful children, two of whom attend Hayden Meadows Elementary school,” she began in her longer post for Love What Matters.
That photo showed fifth-graders Naylan Tuttle, Jack LeBreck, and Casey Dolan making every effort to fold the school’s United States flag correctly and with honor, making sure that it never touched the ground.
Learning from the best
The boys learned how to officially care for the flag from “Mr. Mac.”
Mac McCarty is the school’s custodian, but also a veteran hailing from a military family.
“I’m a 20 year veteran of the United States Air Force, my father was a Marine, my grandfather was a Navy man, and family that’s been in the service for a long time and it’s just a nice opportunity to express it to the young and let them pick it up,” he told KHQ News in Spokane, Washington.
Now, the students are taking it as seriously as he does.
“This is our nation’s flag, this is our school’s flag, it’s how we represent our country,” Jack LeBreck said.
A family affair
Reallan happened to have her mother with her and was Facetiming her niece after pulling up to the school to pick up her children. That’s when she spotted the three boys.
In her post for Love What Matters, she recalled the scene from September 19, 2018:
“While sitting in the car I was FaceTiming my niece when we noticed three boys taking down the flag. Two of them were trying to fold it and were having a lot of trouble. I was saying things like, ‘Oh my gosh, it almost touched the ground!’ It was happening again and again when the third boy laid down!”
Capturing the moment
After turning her phone around to show her niece the scene, it was Reallan’s mother who had the presence of mind to ask her to snap a photo.
“My mom, who had already taken a photo on her phone said to me, ‘Amanda take a picture!’ I then switched my phone and took the photo. My mom’s quality of photos from her phone are not as clear as my phone so that is why she said to take it. We were in such admiration for how these boys went above and beyond to respect our nation’s flag! I posted it on my Facebook because it has such a powerful message that needed to be seen,” she wrote.
A place of honor
Mr. Mac was pleased to see the boys taking the lesson he taught them so seriously.
“They did themselves proud, they did their families proud, they did our school proud and our community and I’m very proud of them and I’m sure their families are very proud of them as well,” he said.
At least one of the boys comes from a military family.
“I think it would be very honorable for me, my dad and my grandfather, they’ve been in the service, in the military, so I probably think I would make them proud,” Naylan Tuttle told KHQ News.
For Reallan, the lesson is a larger one.
“The one thing I would want others to know is the pure simple act of showing respect for our nation’s flag coming from a child has touched thousands of lives. How we conduct ourselves daily can affect others, even when we are not aware that we are.”
Be sure to scroll down below to see an interview with these three patriotic young men.
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