Memorial Day Tribute: This First Grader’s Reaction Will Put A Lump In Your Throat

Aric Mitchell - Author

May 24 2015, Updated 9:30 a.m. ET

A touching Memorial Day tribute led to an even more heart-warming story when the teacher showing the video noticed what one of her little first-grade students was doing.

First-grader Triston at Pineville Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina, will certainly make you proud to be an American.

As his teacher, Emily Rose Fontana, showed the class a 10-minute Memorial Day tribute video during a mini-lesson on the holiday, it moved Triston so much that he saluted the video for nearly the entire 10 minutes and broke down in tears, which Fontana captured on camera in the moving image above.

Along with the image, Fontana wrote the following and posted both to her Facebook page (presumably with the parents’ permission).

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“Not only am I a daughter of an amazing Veteran, but I am a teacher for an elementary school in Charlotte, NC. I teach first grade and love my kids more than anything. Teaching is my passion and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was teaching a mini lesson on Memorial Day today and showed my babies a 10 minute video about the meaning! I had to take this picture because I was lost for words. This little special agent sat saluting the screen for the entire 10 min while tears rolled down his face. I will remember this day for a long long time. It shows how small a child can be and have one of the biggesssttttt [sic] hearts I have ever witnessed. This picture needs to go viral.”

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Fontana posted the pic to the Ellen DeGeneres Show Facebook page with hopes that she would include it on one of her future shows.

While time will tell if that happens, the viral part is taken care of. At this time of this post — it went up late last week — it has 1,276 shares, and there are no signs of slowing down. It was also featured on various news outlets like My Fox 8.

Not surprisingly, the original Facebook post has drawn tons of comments as moved by little Triston as he was by the Memorial Day tribute.

“As the mother of a soldier this brings tears to my eyes,” writes Melissa Rhodes Hart. “A lot of young adults these days don’t show this kind of respect or understanding that this little guy is showing. God bless him!!”

Cindi Muck, a mother of one of Triston’s classmates, agreed.

“This young man is awesome and I am glad my son is friends with him,” she said.

“Being a soldier I have the [utmost] respect for this young man!” adds Tony Craven. “God bless this boy’s parents and teachers for showing him the values of freedom!”

As you fire up the grill this weekend, remember Triston and his touching reaction to this Memorial Day tribute. It’s a true reminder of the meaning behind the day.

[Image via Facebook, linked above]


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