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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Boy with Down Syndrome and Autism Loves American Flag, So Neighbor Builds Him Bench To Watch It Fly

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For 6-year-old Finn Daly, the soothing, repetitive motion of a flag blowing in the breeze is enough to captivate him for hours.

Finn, who lives in West Hartford, Connecticut with his family, has Down syndrome and is on the autism spectrum.

When he walks through the neighborhood with his parents, Kevin and Brooke Daly, he is fascinated by a particular American flag attached to a large tree that hangs near the sidewalk where he steps.

“I think it’s the movement,” Kevin Daly told CBS News of his son’s draw to the flag.

“If it’s moving, if the wind is blowing, he would sit there for an hour and just watch the flag go back and forth, which is kind of the beauty of Finn, too,” Brooke Daly said.

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Of the many American flags scattered throughout the neighborhood, Finn’s favorite belongs to a neighbor, Todd Disque.

When Disque noticed how much the boy enjoyed sitting on the sidewalk watching the flag, he got an idea.

“The boy would just sit there, transfixed by the flag,” Disque told CBS. “I was like, God bless America. This kid wants to look at my flag, then I’m all for it.”

So Disque, who enjoys building, decided to construct a simple wooden bench for the boy. He wrote “Finn’s Bench” on the top and left it on the sidewalk for the boy to discover on his own.

According to WVIT, Finn was walking with his dad when the pair noticed the bench. In their excitement, they could hardly wait to tell the rest of the family.

When Brooke found out about the bench, she was moved to tears.

“I’m crying and my daughter Rose is saying, ‘Don’t cry mom, it’s OK, this is exciting.’ Just a little overwhelming, but in a good way,” Brooke told CBS.

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The beautiful gesture paints a vivid picture of the America everyone wants to live in — a country where, despite our differences, we are kind to one another.

Disque’s selfless gesture of service has inspired not only the Daly family, but families nationwide.

“It’s such a small gesture, but things like this really restore your faith in humanity,” Brooke Daly said. “Like, there’s still good people out there that want to do kind things for no other reason than just to be kind.”

Disque is delighted that Finn and his bench have received so much attention.

“It was fun to do, I like building and Finn is like a superkid,” Disque told WVIT. “I’m happy that it had this effect, I didn’t expect it at all.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Page, Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Phoenix, Arizona
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Lifestyle & Human Interest