On July 4th, 2011 the Elyria Chronicle newspaper ran an article about a man named John Hall. A pretty common name all in itself, but to the people who know him a very uncommon gentleman.
Every morning-after he’s done feeding his dog, taking care of his birds, laying out food for all the wildlife that inhabit his back yard, John dresses in his Marine Corps dress blues, walks out to the flagpole in his front yard & raises the American flag. After he raises the flag, he salutes, turns sharply towards his house & marches back inside. Every evening he does the same routine to take the flag down, where he then folds it in exact military technique, stores it with precision, only to repeat the process all over again the next morning. He does this every day.
Today, July 23rd, 2011 the Elyria Amvets post honored John with an “honorary Marine” award. They made speeches about his loyaltyand his love for his country. American flags were passed out to an audience full of John’s relatives, friends, & passerby’s who knew only of him through a newspaper article. They awarded him a plaque, a Marine Corps baseball cap, & a beret. Cleveland’s Fox news channel 8 taped the ceremony for their 10pm broadcast as John posed for pictures with retired Amvets veterans. Not even the rainy weather could dampen the spirits of those there to support John on his special day.
John loves the Lord & recites the “Lord’s prayer” every night before he goes to bed. John loves his family, especially his mother whom he helps take care of with tender love. John loves his friends and offers them a smile and a hug whenever he sees them. When John says he’ll prayer for you, he prays for you. When John says he loves you, he loves you. When John asks for your name, he remembers it. When John calls you his friend, he calls you that without ever wanting something from you & without expectations. You’re his friend simply because you’re kind to him & he enjoys being around you-exactly what a friend should be!
John loves God & he loves his country. He has more love for both in one finger than some do in their whole being. John is my friend, as he is to everyone who was at his award ceremony today & to countless others who were unable to attend.
John has Downs Syndrome & is a walking example of the heart that God wants all of us to have.
God & Country.