- The Washington Times - Monday, November 12, 2001

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) Christopher Mingus is on a mission to make America feel better.
With a little assistance from his mother, the 10-year-old Cub Scout and son of a sailor has designed what could become Virginia's next special license plate: a picture of Old Glory waving with "United We Stand" emblazoned in blue below it.
The Birdneck Elementary School fifth-grader came up with the idea about a week after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"It really hurt America a little, so I thought to make America feel better it was a good time to have patriotism be shown," Christopher said.
He has collected more than the 350 signatures needed to have the plate considered Delegate John J. Welch III, Virginia Beach Republican, will sponsor a bill to approve the plate in the General Assembly session beginning in January.
"It's really a good civic project the kid's on to," said Mr. Welch's legislative aide, Robert Rummells. "He's in the process of creating a license plate that in our opinion could be the number-one-selling plate across the commonwealth."
"I'm very proud of him," said Dalene Mingus, who has two other sons and a daughter. Her husband, Andrew, is a fire controlman first class aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter and a 16-year Navy veteran.
Christopher now thinks he would like to follow his father and grandfather into the Navy.
He said he wants to fly fighter jets off aircraft carriers.
Why a pilot? "Because I am short and the perfect size for it," he said.

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