Gage Hogue is blind and mostly non-verbal. And yet, he was able to do an amazing painting of the American flag — together with his grandfather, Randy, who loves art.
The painting was sent to President Donald Trump, who gave it his stamp of approval — and did quite a bit more than that.
According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV, Randy Hogue “has always loved to paint. He loves it even more when his grandson Gage is by his side.”
“If there is a disabled person, you have to understand. All they want to do is be included, just be included in life,” Hogue said.
Part of that is including Gage in one of his favorite activities.
The two recently completed a painting of the American flag called “The Crying Flag,” a print of which was passed onto Trump and the White House.
“It really excites him to think he achieved something,” Hogue said.
“Everybody knows he didn’t paint it on his own. But it’s his painting.”
Trump effusively praised the painting in a letter responding to Gage. And to make it more special, the letter was also mailed out in Braille — a really cool touch on the part of the White House.
“Dear Gage, thank you for the beautiful painting of the American flag that you and your Paw-Paw made,” the letter from Trump read.
“You are a very talented artist!” he continued. “The Stars and Stripes are a meaningful source of inspiration and pride to all Americans. Your patriotism and perseverance encourage me as I continue to work hard for our Nation.”
WSB noted that the family holds their faith in God dear to them, which made the response to the painting even more memorable.
“You are beautifully made in the image of God,” the president said.
“I hope you always remember you are loved and cherished by so many.”
Hogue also posted the story — as well as pictures of the letter Gage received from the president and of the artwork itself — on Facebook.
“About 1 month ago,Gage and I mailed a print of his painting ‘THE CRYING FLAG’..(But Holding Strong), to our President Donald Trump along with a letter telling a little about Gage’s story,” he wrote Saturday. “We also expressed our appreciation for the job he was doing for America, and believing in the American Flag and what it stands for.”
“Well today we received acknowledgement of receiving this print. A very nice Thank You letter to Gage and even one printed in Braille.This is a big deal for us to have this piece of history for Gage’s memory book.”
Oh, and while he had just given a few prints of the artwork to friends, Gage has now been inundated with requests for prints.
This is a cool story all around.
Between the grandfather and his grandson, both of them deserve this kind of break.
And the White House certainly deserves credit for a classy response, especially considering they sent the letter in Braille.
This is the kind of story that we don’t see enough of — but it’s the kind of thing we should see covered a lot more.
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