Boy's Tribute to Soldier Dad Lights Up the Skies
6-year-old asks people to turn on porch lights 'so Daddy can see ... I love him'
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2014 8:18 AM CDT
Jamie Baysore, son Darren Baysore, 5, Thomas Baysore Sr., and Sandra Hackenberg stand at attention as taps is played during Thomas Baysore Jr.'s burial at Arlington National Cemetery on Oct. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Thousands of people around the country and the world responded to a 6-year-old boy's plea to turn on a few extra porch lights so his fallen dad could see them shining. The father, Staff Sgt. Thomas Baysore, was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 26, 2013, and he had often told his son Darren that he loved him to the moon and back. When Baysore died, wife Jamie Baysore told their son that he was splitting his time between heaven and the moon, so Darren thought that if more people turned on their porch lights his dad might see them, reports the Tennessean.

The simple request from a small town in Tennessee hit a nerve across several social media outlets, and on Friday, the one-year anniversary of Baysore's death, Jamie was interviewed on NBC's Today show. Within hours, thousands of pictures of lights came in from near and far, including a lit-up ambulance bay, a bunker in Afghanistan strung with lights, and a trucker who left his rig's lights on all night, reports NBC News. "My son is smiling a smile I haven't seen in a long time," says Jamie. "That's the smile we've been looking for. ... I want my son to have faith—in God and in humanity. I want his soul to have that spark again." (Earlier this year, a 95-year-old vet got a surprise tribute during a race.)