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Boy enamored with the American flag gets the ultimate surprise

CBS News logo CBS News 8/3/2019 Steve Hartman

West Hartford, Conn. — For 6-year-old Finn Daly of West Hartford, Connecticut, the best view in his house is from the front door looking up at the flag. Finn has Down syndrome and autism. A combination that, according to his parents Kevin and Brooke, has blessed him with a deep appreciation for the flag.

"I think it's the movement," Kevin said.

"If it's moving, if the wind is blowing, he would sit there for an hour and just watch the flag go back and forth, which is kind of the beauty of Finn, too," Brooke said.

Somehow, he has found comfort and contentment in a sight most of us take for granted. And it's not just his own flag.

a little boy standing in front of a window: Finn Daly © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Finn Daly

"We're fortunate we have a lot of flags in the neighborhood, so it creates for very long and slow walks," Kevin said.

It was on one of those walks with the family that Finn discovered his flag de resistance. A real beauty, mounted on a tree, hanging right over the sidewalk. Finn would make camp on that sidewalk, if you let him. He is that enamored. The flag belongs to Todd Disque.

"The boy would just sit there, transfixed by the flag," Todd said. "I was like, God bless America. This kid wants to look at my flag, then I'm all for it."

Which is why, not long after he saw Finn, he sawed some boards and made a little perch for that little patriot. He just left it out by the tree for Finn's family to discover.

"I'm crying and my daughter Rose is saying, 'Don't cry mom, it's OK, this is exciting.' Just a little overwhelming, but in a good way," Brooke said.

a person walking down a street next to a tree: Finn Daly looking at the American flag. © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Finn Daly looking at the American flag.

Norman Rockwell couldn't have imagined a more uniquely American moment, a vision of strength and compassion in one glorious frame, all created by a master of kindness with nothing more on his palette than a circular saw and an eye for empathy.

"It's such a small gesture, but things like this really restore your faith in humanity. Like, there's still good people out there that want to do kind things for no other reason than just to be kind," Brooke said.

For no other reason – which may be the best reason of all. 

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