It was a simple, heartwarming, and patriotic gesture that took less than one minute, but the ripples are being felt in this western Washington State community and beyond.
On Independence Day 2018, Marysville (WA) police Officer Dave Negron was on patrol when, while driving his police cruiser on a residential street, he noticed a homeowner’s American flag mounted on the house near the driveway was touching the ground.
The officer stopped his patrol car and got out to investigate. He found that the flag mount had broken and wouldn’t hold the flag high enough to keep it from dragging on the ground.
According to the American Legion, “The Flag Code states that the flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground.” This is to prevent it from becoming soiled or damaged.
A home surveillance camera video recorded the officer attempting to replace the flag properly in it’s holder, but the bracket was too damaged. So, the officer, with touching reverence, carefully rolled the flag around the flagpole. He then leaned it up against the house near the front door, so the flag would not touch the ground.
Saying the officer deserved recognition for his “good deed,” Ben Rieman, the homeowner, said he’d watched the surveillance video after finding the flag rolled up by the front door.
Rieman said he shared the video on a local Facebook community page. He wanted to bring attention to the officer’s kind and patriotic act. “I would like to THANK greatly to an Officer of the Marysville Police department!!!!” Rieman posted to the Snohomish County Crime and Community Facebook group. He continued, “It just so happens I was out and about enjoying my 4th of July, when my American Flag had some how fell to the ground.” Sharon Gellespie wrote in the page, “God bless this cop.”
According to KOMONews.com, Reiman said, “I wish I could thank him personally. That’s a real American to me!”
It’s always great to see cops getting recognition for the “little” things they do. From my experience, Officer Negron’s actions mirror many of his brother and sister law enforcement officers across the country who perform similar kindnesses for people every day. But people don’t tend to whip out the cameras for police officers’ kind acts.
Let’s be happy that a homeowner’s surveillance camera, rather than capturing a bad guy doing a bad thing, captured a very good guy doing a very good thing.