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Something happened over the Fourth of July in Dallas, and it was more than fireworks and a barbecue competition.

It was another viral Facebook post that ended up showing the true spirit of this community.

A woman vandalized signs and places throughout town, but was stopped in her tracks after defacing the Sgt. Ian Tawney Memorial Park sign. A witness took her picture and called police before she could spray-paint anymore signs in town.

What happened next started in a similar manner to what we often see on Facebook. Someone posted a picture of the vandalism and complained. Public shaming of the woman — unknown to many at the time of posting. How could anyone do this? What a terrible thing!

Then, a sort of vigilante stepped in. Alex Lofton and his family and friends took matters into their own hands. Lofton noticed the Facebook post because it was getting so much attention, and, at 11 p.m. on July 4, drove over to the Ian Tawney Memorial Park with a bucket of soapy water and scrub brushes in hand. He used the light from his headlights to begin the work of trying to clean the pink spray-paint from the veteran’s sign.

When the paint would not wash off, Lofton and his crew got some acrylic paints and began trying to paint over the graffiti.

That wasn’t good enough. The pink kept coming through. So, Lofton and his friends worked in the heat of the day repainting it a darker, “Marine Corps Green.” They didn’t stop until the work was done.

Of course, the town took note. On the evening of July 4, people began posting pictures of Alex and his family working in the dark of the night by headlights, and the comments changed from complaints to praise and love.

We’re not suggesting people paint city property on a regular basis, but we hope the community will remember what Lofton, his family and friends accomplished last week.

We hope that, before you post a picture of trash in Dallas City Park and complain about how rude your fellow residents are for littering, you will pick up the trash. If you must post, post about how lovely the park looks because you’ve helped keep it clean.

You don’t have to be a part of a commission or council to take responsibility for the beauty of your town.

As for Lofton and his crew, our hats are off to you.

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