Two North Carolina boys have touched hearts across the country after a photo posted on Facebook showed them pausing in the street to honor the raising of a U.S. flag by the local fire station.
The photo has been shared 2,700 times and inspired more than 3,200 reactions and since being posted Friday by the Roseboro Fire Department. Roseboro is a town of about 1,200 people, 65 miles south of Raleigh.
“This afternoon as Chaplain (Bobby) Herring was raising the U.S. flag to full staff, he looked over to the intersection and saw these two young people standing there with hands on their heart, saying the Pledge of Allegiance,” said a post from the Roseboro Fire Department.
“God bless our community,” the post concluded.
Roseboro Fire Department officials identified the two boys Monday afternoon as cousins Derrick Tyrone Ingram Jr., 6, and Thomas Edwards Jones Jr., who is 7.
The pair were honored at a meeting of Roseboro town officials on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and given U.S. flags for their porch, a box of chocolates and copy of the Facebook photo that went viral, reported WTVD.
Reaction to the photo has come from around the country, and has ranged from pride to “melted hearts” to expressions of hope in troubled times.
“That pic gives me goosebumps and tears!!” posted Alisa Parker Hayes on the fire department’s Facebook page.
“Adults could learn a lot from these wonderful kids!” wrote Genetta Bradshaw Goodman.
“Their response was taught, and taught well,” posted Frank Marleen Powell. “Please congratulate these young men for the respect they showed our great flag and our great nation. They are setting the example for others to follow.”
“The fact that they stood there showing respect without being prompted to do so says a lot about how they are being raised,” wrote Mandy Taylor on Facebook.
“Seeing this gives me hope,” posted Betty Warren.