Lane Snow may have been one of the smallest people in the Woodlawn School cafeteria during the Cub Scouts meeting on Oct. 16, but he was, by far, the largest in stature. Snow, who is nine years old, was honored by the area’s law enforcement community for a simple, but deeply felt gesture.
On Oct. 4, as the funeral procession of Virginia State Trooper Andrew Fox passed through Woodlawn, Lane, in uniform, stood at attention and saluted, not just for a few minutes, but until the two-and-a-half-mile line of vehicles had passed.
“When we passed him, it was an unbelievable moment, and, you know, it just puts a big, old lump in your throat. It goes straight to your heart,” said Trooper Chris Thompson, who was on hand with other troopers, as well as officers from the Dublin, Radford, Blacksburg and Giles police departments.
A trooper took Snow’s photograph and posted it on Facebook, and soon the youngster’s sign of respect was known not just locally, but internationally.
“I’ve had people from all over the U.S., three from Canada and one from Europe contact me about Lane,” said Randy McKenzie, Lane’s pack leader. “They want him to know they’re proud of him and appreciate the respect he’s shown.”
When asked why he did it, Lane said it was because he “was sorry Andrew Fox died.”
“I stood at attention until all the cars had passed, two and a half miles” said Lane, who had approached his parents, Albert and Melanie Snow, earlier in the day about his plan to show his respect.
“He was just paying his respects like a good Boy Scout should,” said Melanie, who finds the interest in Lane almost overwhelming.
“We weren’t expecting this. We just checked Facebook and one of his pictures had 205,000 hits,” said Melanie, prior to the beginning of the meeting.
Although she is proud of her son, Melanie added, “(Fox’s) wife is who everyone should remember. She’s the one who is hurting.”
According to several of the troopers and police officers, Fox’s wife, who was unable to attend, was “very touched” by Lane’s show of respect.
Lane’s action come as no surprise to his scout leaders.
“It was a super thing he did,” said Darrell Lineberry, Cub Master of Pack 810. “He didn’t do it for recognition, but to show his respect and concern for Mrs. Fox.”
“It’s what I’d expect from a scout,” added McKenzie. “Scouting teaches morals and character. (Lane) was being a good citizen and that’s what scouting teaches. I’ve had Lane in scouts since the first grade and I’ve coached him, and there is no quit in that little man.”
The troopers and police officers on hand presented Lane with patches of their respective departments and challenge coins, which “are a way of showing someone respect,” according to Marshall Dowdy of the Dublin Police Department. He also received other gifts, including a certificate of appreciation of the Virginia State Troopers and a plaque from the Radford Police Department.