Recently, a photograph of a nine year old scout has made the rounds of the social media sites on the internet. A scandal? A victim? Someone treated unfairly? No.
A hometown boy with a big heart and clear call to duty and honor.
In a refreshing change of recent news media focus about scouting, here is a news article offering a positive about a scout doing the right thing for great (selfless) reasons.
From the article:
“Our televisions inundate us with attack ads, some disproved by fact-checkers, for which monied interests have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the course of government.
“Inspiration has to come from other places, other people. And last week, it came from a 9-year-old Scout in Woodlawn, and an online photo of him saluting a fallen lawman.
“Lane Snow, a fourth-grade student at Laurel Elementary School in rural Carroll County, loves cops. He wants to be one someday, just like his cousin, Virginia State Police trooper Bryan Phipps. Or, as he said in an Associated Press telephone interview, like trooper Andrew Fox.
“Fox was directing traffic near the Virginia State Fair at Doswell on Oct. 5 when a sport utility vehicle struck him. He died of the injuries. He was 27. The Oct. 11 funeral procession involved police cruisers from law-enforcement agencies from across Virginia and surrounding states. It stretched for more than two miles as it snaked its way through southwestern Virginia’s hills from Pulaski, where the funeral service was held, to Grayson County for burial. “They called the people who live along the highway and they told us to be expecting it Thursday afternoon,” said Lane Snow’s mother, Melanie Snow, 37.
“When Lane learned of it, he knew what he had to do. He asked his mother and father if he could don his Webelos Scout shirt, kerchief and cap and salute Fox as the hearse, accompanied by a cordon of flashing blue lights that stretched to the horizon, drove slowly past. “It was his idea,” his mother said. “There was no hesitation at all.”
“That afternoon, Lane, his father, Albert Snow, and his grandfather saw the procession approach on Route 58. “He put his football down and went down to the road and started standing there in a full salute,” Albert Snow said. “He’s been in Scouts for four years and he learned it there.”
“For 15 to 20 minutes, the boy stood in place in the grass a safe distance off the highway, his right arm locked at an angle and his rigid open hand pressed against his brow until the last car passed, Albert Snow said. In his left hand, he held his Scout cap. That evening, the boy acknowledged a sore shoulder and arm, but didn’t complain, Melanie Snow said.
“Why did he do it?
“Because police and Boy Scouts and firemen are family,” Lane Snow said.
“He had no clue the powerful emotions that his salute unlocked among those in the passing vehicles. Still doesn’t. When told that tears filled the eyes of officers who saw him, he said, “I’m sorry they were sad.”
“Police across the country are a tight-knit group to start with, and when one of your own dies in the line of duty, that’s extra hard on everybody,” said Phipps, the boy’s cousin and, at age 36, a veteran trooper. “To see a young man out there paying his respects to a fallen brother, that makes it extra …” Phipps paused to compose himself, unable to complete the sentence.
“A blurry picture of Lane, shot from a distance by an unknown photographer, quickly gained a wide online following, shared countless times by innumerable users on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Local television and newspapers caught wind of it and did stories. Police officers turned up at Lane’s Scout meeting last week to personally thank him.”