A high school football player in Davidson County, North Carolina, is being praised for his quiet act of patriotism.
South Davidson High School junior Jacob Pope was walking to football practice recently when he heard the national anthem being played in the distance at a girls’ softball game.
Pope stopped and placed his hand over his heart until the anthem concluded. However, unbeknownst to him, a teacher saw the young man and snapped a picture while he stood alone in the parking lot, waiting for the song to end.
“No one was there,” Pope recalled. “I just stopped because it was the right thing to do.”
Before the teacher posted the touching image to social media, she called his mother, Lauren Pope, to ask for permission.
“She wanted to point out what a proud moment and how special he was for doing something like that when no one was looking,” his mother said.
The photo quickly received over a thousand likes and shares and lots of positive comments online.
“They said God bless this boy. I know he’s been raised right. Amen. Awesome kid,” the teenager told reporters.
“Character is what you do when no one else is looking,” his mother said of her son’s patriotic gesture. “He defines that.”
In September 2018, Breitbart News reported a similar instance, where four teenage boys stopped in the parking lot of a high school in Midland, Michigan, when they heard the national anthem begin playing at a football game.
The report said Mike Ullery Jr. snapped a picture of the moment when the boys removed their ball caps and placed their hands over their hearts.
“I was impressed by these Bullock Creek boys. Running late to the game they heard the national anthem and stopped, took off their hats and placed hands over heart,” Ullery wrote in a Facebook post, adding “Respect.”