The four teens were heading to a high school football game on Friday, Sept. 21, when they stopped in their tracks as the pregame rendition of the national anthem began to play.
Mike Ullery Jr., who was also heading to the game, noticed what the teens did as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played and got out his phone to snap a picture.
Noting how the teens had removed their hats and placed a hand on their hearts, Ullery posted the picture on Facebook, where it soon went viral.
“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. “Respect.”
‘I Was Proud of Them’
After the photo went viral Ullery added to CBS: “I was just proud of them, so I just snapped a picture and hoped it would get back to them when I posted it on Facebook.”
He told the Midland Daily News that he wanted to post the picture in part because he always sees teens getting a bad reputation, and because he thought they represented their school well.
“I saw those boys walking and carrying on like most teens. But as the anthem started they stopped where they were, hats came off and they put their hands over their hearts. I felt the need to take a picture. These days you don’t get many moments where you feel pride and teens get a bad rep,” he said.
“I felt like their parents and school had taught them respect not found in a lot of our other schools around here. Bullock Creek set the bar high!”
GOD BLESS THEM!!! TRUE AMERICANS STILL HONOR THEIR FLAG & COUNTRY!!! Viral photo shows teens stopping for the national anthem https://t.co/pbKH7rl5CK
— STAFFORDMOTION (@staffordmotion1) September 25, 2018
A Michigan man said the teens were rushing to their high school's football game Friday when they heard the national anthem, stopped and removed their hats. https://t.co/uNCTbNOQ3d
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) September 25, 2018
Facebook Users React
A number of parents of students at the high school soon commented on the post, identifying the teens as Dakota Lehner, Mikiah Lehner, Taylor Cox, and Collin Hitchingham.
Parents and other Facebook users praised the teens.
“That is the way it should be! God bless these boys,” said one user.
“There are many good and respectful young people, they don’t get the respect and thanks they deserve. Luv ya!!!!!!!” added another.
“Thanks to all of the DISrespect from we all know elsewhere in this country, this is so refreshing. I applaud these young men. They are being raised right,” added yet another.