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ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL (KTVI) – Nine-year-old Nicholas Day doesn’t have to wear a gold shield to prove his bravery. But Tuesday morning they gave him one anyway.

‘You did a great job OK so keep it up its kids like you that make other kids stronger and you just keep it up,’ says Sheriff Rick Watson, St. Clair County Sheriff.

Tuesday morning at High Mount School in Swansea, Illinois, law enforcement officials from the Belleville police department, Illinois state police and St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson rallied behind Nicholas day’s courage and made him an honorary lieutenant.

‘This is to honor our Junior Deputy of St. Clair County Nicholas Day in recognition of his brave service.

According to authorities Nicholas witnessed the August 29th attack that killed his mother, Charetta Day and left her estranged boyfriend charged with murder.

‘We prayed before we went into the house he went and gathered his things that he wanted he went outside and played and saw the neighbors they were very excited to see him because they haven’t seen him since then,’ says Erica Day.

Erica Day has been taking care of her nephew and trying to return Nicholas to a sense of normalcy.

‘It is truly amazing cause she showed so much love it’s all coming back because that’s what life is about it’s all coming back and Charetta put up so much love and happiness it’s just all coming back,’ says Day.

Although Nicholas is still healing from his wounds, he hopes to return to playing football in the near future.

‘Our goal is to get back to normal as close as we can to help him heal to help our students heal and our staff to work with everybody to improve,’ says Mark Halwachs, Superintendent High Mount School District.

‘That type of bravery and that type of adversity to overcome is something you write books about too and hopefully he inspires the rest of these kids to overcome things in their life,’ says Watson.