In Arlington, Texas, the Fourth of July festivities this year provided the perfect opportunity for a young boy to showcase his compassion—and in the process reminded the community of what it means to respect those who serve the nation.
The Independence Day parade in the north Texas city was full of patriotism, with floats and fire trucks patrolling the streets to honor one of America’s most widely celebrated holidays.
At the start of the parade, though, one of the members of the National Guard—who had his hands full bearing the American flag—found himself with an untied shoelace.
Happy Fourth of July! The parade today was amazing. We love serving this wonderful community!
The process of maneuvering to re-tie the shoe would have been cumbersome and difficult, but a young boy was luckily there to step in and help out. Jumping from the sidelines and onto the parade route, the child dashed in front of the row of National Guard members and bent down to tie the laces without a second thought.
Will Johnson, the Arlington Police Chief, tweeted an image of the boy to show his appreciation.
At the start of the 4th of July Parade this young man ran out to help one of our Honor Guard members whose shoe came untied. Thank you Josh! We should all be so kind. I have a Chief Challenge coin for you. #America pic.twitter.com/lQr2rxVWQC
— Will Johnson (@ArlingtonChief) July 4, 2019
“At the start of the 4th of July Parade this young man ran out to help one of our Honor Guard members whose shoe came untied,” he wrote. “Thank you Josh! We should all be so kind. I have a Chief Challenge coin for you.”
The internet quickly circulated the image, with reactions ranging from gratitude that the current generation of kids are so well-versed in respect to humor at how good-natured the National Guard members were during the situation.
“I love the look on the Honor Guard’s faces,” one woman wrote. “The slight grins on their faces are priceless.”
I love the looks on the Honor Guards faces. The slight grins are priceless. That little boy has more respect than most adults I know. I pray he keeps it.
— Laurie Beakley (@laurie_beakley) July 7, 2019
“Kindness on display,” shared another.
Most people, though, shared one common sentiment—and that was joy at seeing a random act of kindness from a young kid who took time out from being enamored by the Fourth of July festivities to make sure to properly pay respect to a service member.
The world could use a lot more acts of kindness! Josh is an excellent example!
— A.Marie Garcia (@hrhnahni) July 4, 2019
The Chief Challenge Coin he’ll receive from the police chief is a common symbol in the military given out as a form of commendation. Their history is still widely debated, but these ornately decorated coins are generally accepted as a way to show that you’ve performed an honorable act at some point—and while they sometimes get brought up in military drinking games, the reception of one by young Josh is almost certainly a source of pride more than anything.
This photo has been getting a lot of attention today. Josh – Thank you for helping our Honor Guard today. It was much…
This simple act comes on the heels of dozens of other young children around the United States displaying little acts of kindness over the last handful of years, which have gone viral as the internet delights in the restored faith in humanity that they provide. From a pair of young girls who hand-delivered a lost wallet to a veteran after he dropped it on the street to the boy who stood in the rain for half an hour in order to honor a veteran’s funeral procession, America’s youth have done an excellent job in recent years of showing that chivalry and respect haven’t died after all.