Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Man with Down Syndrome Raises American Flag

A belated Independence Day posting!

AMHERST, Ohio - This morning, like every morning, John Hall wakes up earlier than the rest of his household, puts on his Marine dress blues and marches an American flag out to the flagpole in his Amherst front yard. Carefully, with the delicacy and proper attention that a true serviceman could afford, he raises this American symbol into the sky.

Except Hall isn’t a Marine. The Ohio native is a lifelong appreciator of the American military and a lover of the symbol of America: the American flag. Born with Down syndrome, Hall has found an alternative to going abroad to serve his country by honoring his country in his own home.

“You’ll watch him from the window, and he’ll march exactly like a real Marine, even when no one else is around,” older sister Joyce Cooper said.

Hall has been taking care of the flag for years, even before he had his Marine uniform. He performed the ritual with his father, Charles Hall, a WWII Navy veteran, before the elder Hall died a few years ago. John Hall now continues the tradition solo.

“He’s very proud of that - he’ll say ‘My daddy was in the Navy,’ ” Cooper said. John Hall has always loved everything military-related, but began dressing in uniform more consistently in honor of his father.

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