Mom Finds Touching Drawing at Soldier Son's Grave, Decides to Track Down the Stranger Who Left It

Stephen Thompson
May 22, 2022
12:00 A.M.

Children are often free-spirited. They easily connect with people and show their emotions, even if they haven't met these people before or known them for long. A little boy proved this to be true in this emotional story.


Memorial Day, held every last Monday in May, encompasses a lot of pride for Americans. On that day, people across the nation make it a point of duty to remember and honor the sacrifices of military service members who have given their lives to fight for the country.

Though the act of remembrance can look different from place to place, many individuals try out new activities to pay their respect. For example, shopping with a Veteran-owned business, visiting the graves of the fallen heroes, and writing letters to the soldiers' families.

Picture of the gravesite of Sgt. TJ Butler | Source: Facebook/WECT News

Picture of the gravesite of Sgt. TJ Butler | Source: Facebook/WECT News

Most times, these activities are done by adults, but children have learned the importance of Memorial Day in the past years and have paid their respects to the dead. This was the case of a little boy whose visit to a soldier's grave broke the headlines, leaving many in tears.



Memorial Day had always been a special day for little Mason Lee and his mother, Sarah Lee, from Wilmington, North Carolina. It had become a tradition for the duo to visit a cemetery and honor the fallen heroes by placing flags on their graves for years.

In May 2016, Sarah and Mason visited the Wilmington National Cemetery for their yearly ritual, but things would turn out differently this time. While the mother was placing flags on the graves of the soldiers, her son went missing.


After searching for Mason, Sarah finally found him sitting next to the gravesite of Sgt. TJ Butler, who died on October 1, 2012, in a bombing in Afghanistan. For some reason, the little boy was drawn to the soldier's headstone and had a lot of questions.

"Mason had a lot of questions. He wanted to know if he had a son and a family and wanted to know more about him. It was really touching because you could tell he was really soaking it all in. That this was somebody's son, somebody's daddy," Sarah revealed.



The following year, Mason and his family revisited the cemetery, and this time, the little boy did not come empty-handed. He tagged along with him a hand-drawn American flag and a shield like that of Captain America.

Then, he wrapped the drawing in a plastic bag to prevent it from being soaked by rain, and Mason carefully placed it by Butler's grave. Sarah was touched by her son's kind act and confessed:

"It must have made a huge impact on him to be that young and remember something like that."


Sarah was not the only one touched by Mason's gesture. The deceased's mother, Leslie, soon visited her son's gravesite and found the beautiful drawing. Indeed, Leslie was touched. Leslie noted:

"The letter that Mason left us touched our hearts to know that there was someone out there that still cared."


The woman tracked Mason and his family down and asked to meet them at Butler's grave on July 4, 2017. On that day, Leslie came along with a gift for the little boy. The woman gave Mason a Captain America toy in appreciation for honoring her son.


Mason also revealed that he had plans of putting out flags the following year and Sgt. Butler's grave was the first he would visit. This made Leslie so happy that she said:

"As long as Mason is here, he'll place his flag here, and I can be happy that I know that Mason's going to give TJ his flag."

Mason will always hold a special place in Leslie's heart, as the latter knows her son will never be forgotten. The little boy's kind act should encourage the world to celebrate servicemen and women who are constantly fighting to keep citizens of their country safe.

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