National Guard kid and 5th grader Michael Yee puts a lot of stock in the simple but important things in life, like good manners. So he knew exactly what he had to do when Vice President Mike Pence accidentally elbowed him in the face at the end of some remarks at the White House this week: ask for an apology.
The hunt for that apology was captured in has quickly become a viral Huffington Post video. Thanks to the proximity of a few microphones, every word Michael said while trying to get Pence's attention was captured -- even though his mother, Ingrid Herrera-Yee, who standing nearby, couldn't hear any of it.
"He accidentally bopped me in the head – it wasn’t hard but it still kind of bothered me, so I was just like 'excuse me' because I wanted an apology," Michael told me. "It's just good manners. Plus I didn't enjoy getting bopped in the head. I know it was an accident, but everybody needs to say sorry."
See the interaction for yourself.
At first Michael was upset that the video, which is on its way to over 2 million views, was so popular. His mom said he thought people were making fun of him. However, when he went to school today his class watched the video several times, called him a "hero" and had a conversation about the importance of manners.
"It’s so him because he has this really dry sense of humor and he’s all about trying to be polite," Herrera-Yee said. "Everyone who knows him looked at this video and said 'oh my god, that’s classic Michael.' He’s a kid with a big heart."
Michael and Herrera-Yee were among about 150 military family members to spend a few hours at the White House this week for a military family appreciation ceremony. The event featured a meet and greet with Pence, Karen Pence, first bunny Marlon Bundo and Ivanka Trump, among others.
Although his mom said Michael loved the history of the house, Michael told me that he was particularly impressed by the stairs, numbers of rooms and the presence of ice cream and brownies, proving that kids really do know what is most important in life.
Herrera-Yee said Michael was "in awe" of the Vice President, but when the "bop" happened, he didn't approach the situation any differently than he would've anywhere else.
"It's not political, it's not a statement -- even though it's very strange to see how people respond to these things when there's a politician involved," she said. "It could be a person on the street, or the Vice President or my boss. It doesn’t matter who he interacts with, he’s like this with everybody."
Herrera-Yee said it's going to be tricky explaining what happened to Michael's dad, who is currently away for training with very little communication. And as for why this video has gone viral, she thinks it's Michael's innocence that has caught everyone's attention.
"Just the pure innocence of it -- that’s what’s resonating with people," she said.