A Texas mother uploaded a photo of her kindergartner son praying and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance on Aug. 30, unaware she was about to take the internet by storm.
The photo went viral, attracting more than 2 million Facebook views, WTTG reports.
Heather Nelson, Royce Thompson’s mother, explained she had dropped her son off late at his elementary school in Santa Fe, Texas.
He was about to open the door when he suddenly paused.
At first, his mother had no idea what he was doing and pleaded with him to quickly get inside.
“I couldn’t really tell what he was doing and I was saying ‘Royce..go..go’ as kids walked around him,” Nelson wrote on Facebook. “Well he didn’t budge and I thought what is this child doing?”
When a police officer approached Nelson and explained what he was doing, both of them were stunned.
“I couldn’t believe that he acknowledged that that was a moment of, you know, you need to stop do the pledge and he just did,” said Officer Cibby Moore, reports WJW. “He just ignored all the kids around him and kept doing it. And it was awesome.”
Royce had heard the school speakers loudly blare the Pledge of Allegiance, and despite the tardy, he felt he had to show respect to his country and faith.
“Thank you God. Thank you for giving me a wonderful day,” Royce added in prayer.
“Since they do not have prayer in schools he says a little prayer silently and that’s exactly what he was doing,” explained Nelson.
The mother then took the photo that ended up touching the hearts of many nationwide.
“It’s stuff like this that still gives me hope for the future and also makes me proud of the small town I came from!” commented one Facebook user.
While Nelson wrote that she was proud of her son, she also credited his good “values” to her parents.
“I can’t take all the credit..he has a role model..that awesome man you know as Judge Mike Nelson,” she writes of the boy’s grandfather. “Goodness he loves his Paw Paw. He has so many of his values…it’s awesome.”