Six years old is pretty young (I'm assuming that is his age).
Mike, can you name me a single kind act that was performed for you by a stranger when you were six that stands out in memory? I think you're projecting your own hopes and dreams onto the young boy. In a perfect world everyone would remember the sacrifices of Canadian veterans without prompting, thank a veteran etc.
The last time I checked, the Army Cadets (barring the Navy League) had an entry age of 12 or 13; I was a late-comer, joining at 15 and doing just 2-1/2 years before joining the Militia. Given Canada's signature on the child soldier legislation, they apparently do much less in the way of "military" training these days. As a member of our regimental band years ago, we supported many of the local rural corps at annual inspections and while they tried hard, their best efforts often did not serve them well in dress and deportment. I never got worked up about it - it's a different world - but I wondered on an individual level why they bothered if they weren't going to commit to it all the way. At least in the Militia we got paid to cut our hair and polish our shoes - or soak up some of that culture of "duty and honour" you think this six year old has. If you really think a 6 year old understands "duty and honour", incidentally, you've probably never had to argue with a teenager to take out the trash.
The act of saluting can be rote - I wasn't inside this child's head, but a video is no different than an oil painting - we all read into it what we want to see. I get the sense you want to see a world where children are respectful and Canadian soldiers are heroes to be admired. Would that it were so all the time. I've read too much history and dealt with too many unseemly personalities even in my part-time safe-at-home career to believe it can be anything but. And I have too large a grasp on my child-like side to believe that a six-year old could expound on the merits and virtues of those soldiers of democracy marching past him - plugs and all.
As drama, the video was, as Stefan pointed out, about as real to me as Hollywood tears. Spontaneous acts of charity are always more impressive than obviously choreographed ones. The "thumbs up" in this case was evidence of that. Look at the Highway of Heroes - my understanding is that concerned citizens just started showing up on their own to pay their respects. No one's parents dressed any of them up and plopped them into place to do it. When JFK Jr. saluted his dad's casket, that was impressive. This was just phony.
This, on the other hand, is real:
Anyone notice the difference?