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Mystery Man’s Act Of Patriotism Stuns Pinole Man

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Rene Dominguez kisses the American flag in front of the Pinole home of Filip Bednarz. (CBS)

Rene Dominguez kisses the American flag in front of the Pinole home of Filip Bednarz. (CBS)

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PINOLE (CBS 5) – A quiet but powerful act of respect for the flag caught an East Bay man by surprise when he went to review surveillance footage taken in front of his home.

Filip Bednarz said he rarely sees anything more than passing children or the mailman when he reviews the security video, but recently he saw something unique: a man walking toward the front door removed his hat, kissed and American flag hanging out front, saluted it and went on his way.

Bednarz, an American citizen who immigrated from Poland, played the video again and again.

“I took the video and showed it to my family. My Dad shed a little tear when I showed it to him,” he said.

Using a flyer the man left on the doorknob, CBS 5 tracked down the mystery man to see what drove him kiss the flag.

As it turns out, the man isn’t even an American. He’s 70-year-old Rene Dominguez of El Salvador. The retired car salesman is visiting relatives in the Bay Area for several months. When his son goes to work as a realtor, Rene spends a couple hours a day passing out hundreds of flyers for his daughter-in-law’s small house cleaning business.

Dominguez said he had no clue surveillance cameras were watching him. As his son translated, he said he was just expressing his deep appreciation for America’s military and economic support of El Salvador.

Dominguez pushed his son Eduardo to finally became an American citizen after living in the Bay Area for years.

“He thinks the U.S. is the greatest country in the world,” said son Eduardo Dominguez. “He knows that anyone who comes to this country can succeed in anything they want.”

Father and son got the chance to watch the video and meet Bednarz. As it turns out, because surveillance doesn’t record sound, you can’t tell that Rene is singing the national anthem.

Rene Dominguez will return to El Salvador next month.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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