In a bold show of patriotism, Joseph Offutt took a stand to let the world know the U.S. will not cower in the wake of events similar to the shooting that occurred in Garland, Texas, last weekend.
Parents hadn't been taking their kids to school in the days after the attack, so Offut wanted to send a clear message that Americans aren't scared. And what better way to send that message than by waving Old Glory?
ABC News reported that Offut stood outside the Curtis Cullwell Center in Garland, just steps from where the Islamic State-inspired shooting happened, holding the American flag for a full 14 hours on Wednesday. Later that night he came back and he was carrying a much bigger flag – one that measured 15-feet long.
Offut's goal was to encourage Americans from different backgrounds, religions, races and cultures to come together and raise their own flags in solidarity with him. The 21-year-old said he plans to join the National Guard. He also has family members who have served in the country's military, Fox News reported.
Among the people who have stood alongside Offutt is one Muslim family that showed up Tuesday raising flags. Offutt said that instance just goes to show it's not all about race and religion.
“They walked up and gave me a hug and said thank you for what you’re doing, and I said, 'We are all Americans, no matter what race, no matter what religion,'” Offutt told Fox News.
Watch the "Fox and Friends" interview from Thursday:
Police in Garland, Texas, took out two men who exchanged gunfire outside of a Prophet Muhammed cartoon drawing contest Sunday. The two gunmen were the only ones who died and no one was injured. The Islamic State terror group later took credit for the violent attack.
Offutt told ABC News he doesn't consider drawing depictions of Mohammad to be a show of patriotism but he acknowledged the organizers' constitutional right to hold their event.
"I believe in our First Amendment right to free speech, and I will protect my amendment with my life. But I do not agree with how this group was using that amendment, knowing they would be offending people's religion," Offutt said.
(H/T: ABC News)
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