Moms hope viral photo of sons spreads message of equality, friendship


EXETER, N.H. — Two moms hope to spread a message of friendship and equality by sharing a picture of their sons.

Nina Armata and Rebecca Cherry grew up together in Exeter, New Hampshire. Life has taken them on different paths, but they have stayed close.

“We’ve actually stayed connected through social media and have been able to share our lives that way,” Armata said.

Their sons – Landon and Vondell, both 3 years old – connected virtually, too.

“On Facebook, I would show Von pictures of Landon and say, ‘Look at Mommy’s friend’s son,” Cherry said.

But they only met face-to-face recently, and it was friendship at first sight.

“When they saw each other in Exeter that day, it was like they were old buddies,” Cherry said. “They just took off, took off running, took off playing.”

The mothers took pictures and decided to post one on Facebook, hoping the picture of the boys embracing would go viral.

“It’s incredible how many people have shared it and how many amazing responses we’ve gotten from people all over the place,” Armata said. “It’s insane.”

And they are hoping the message will keep on moving.

“It starts with valuing each other as humans, and I think that’s lost now,” Armata said. “I don’t want either of our boys to grow up in a world that we don’t value each other.”

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