The salute is a powerful gesture. Though many variations exist, all convey a sense of respect and history for the participants. Occasionally, the salute comes from an unexpected source, whether a grievously wounded soldier, confined to a hospital bed, or a little girl at her father’s deployment ceremony.
Earlier this year, three-year-old Daniella Moen captured the nation’s attention when she joined the deploying soldiers in a salute during the National Anthem. The image subsequently spread on the internet, carrying with it the power that pictures frequently do. Although the memes fade with time, the message remains powerful — a salient reminder of all that military families sacrifice when the nation calls on the military to serve abroad.
In a single instant, we glimpse the sacrifice not only of the soldiers about to depart for Afghanistan but also for the families they are about to leave behind. Young children, such as this one, start to slowly count down the days until their parent comes home.
And for those eager to point out little Daniella saluted with her left hand, Mrs. Moen explains in the Watertown Daily Times that Daniella switched hands only after her right became too tired.
Image: Daniella, daughter of Capt. Dan Moen, 1-89 CAV (RECON), U.S. Army Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division, salutes behind her father as the National Anthem is played at a deployment ceremony on January 11 at Fort Drum, NY. Photo by Sasha Moen.
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