Power of a Photo: Standing for the Flag

Clark Fouraker is on your side. 11/14/2016

Leesburg, Fla -- By it's very nature, small town pride gets passed down from generation to generation.

"My dad started doing some portraits and weddings in their home. They asked my wife and I to help them out, so we helped them out," said Myron Legget.

He's snapped shots professionally in downtown Leesburg for more than a decade.

The Leesburg High School homecoming parade passes by the corner studio every year. The flots include all the usual suspects, "the football players, the cheerleaders, Ms. Leesburg," Legget said.

It's a perfect place for pride.
 
"Just waiting. Ya, just waiting for the parade. Standing there talking," Deree Trenholm.
 
She was standing on the street corner with her son Aerk waiting for the Leesburg High School senior's float to pass by.
 
Deree's oldest son, who is also Aerk's oldest brother, was on it.
 
"His brother was in the parade because he is a senior this year," Trenholm said.
 
Younger brother Aerk is in a wheel chair because he's had spina bifida his whole life. 
 
The condition means he can't walk on his own and has to wear leg braces.
 
"Even before he was born, I was told things, very hurtful things, things the doctors wanted me to do," Trenholm said. "One doctor in Orlando suggested something and I'm like 'No, I'm not doing that.'"
 
Over the years, Aerk's achieved lots.  He loves science and videogames.
 
"Me and my 3 other brothers, we chose captain America," he said.
 
Aerk loves his older brother too.
 
Uncle Myron had his camera ready to take photos of the senior float when something happened he'd never captured before.
 
"My sister hollered 'He's standing. He's standing.' I shot about 3 shots of him doing that before they moved on through," Legget said describing a moment that would be seen around the world.
 
The photo captures Aerk using his arms the boost himself out of his wheelchair, standing for the American flag when it passed by to begin the homecoming parade.
 
"I knew what I had captured," Legget said. "Oh yea, I knew what I had captured."
 
Legget waited a day to post the photo to Facebook.  Within hours, it went viral. Thousands of likes and thousands of comments.
 
"It was like boom, boom, boom, boom," Trenholm said. "It was just too many. Too many to keep up with. And I kept reading and I'm like okay, this is really touching that people would feel this way about my son."
 
On Facebook, people called him "A patriot and hero."  Others said, "He is the kind of young people this country needs."  One man said, "Now that's a role model."
 
Sarah Campbell wrote in a comment, "I will forever be great full for this young man. It shows me that people remember and respect our soldiers and there fallen brothers. My husband was one of those fallen brothers. I love this kid."
 
While pride in the flag encouraged him to defy his own odds, Aerk's patriotism has encouraged a world he doesn't know.
 
"I wasn't even expecting it to happen," Aerk said.
 
Nonetheless, it's the kind of thing that happens when something like patriotism gets passed down.
 
"I can't explain it. I can't explain how I feel," Trenholm said. "Overwhelming, unbelievable, in awe." 


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