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HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -
The son of the Alabama school bus driver who was killed nearly two weeks ago is speaking out.
Aaron Poland now keeps a file folder at his job in Hickory, North Carolina.
In it, he has mementos fresh from his father's home back in Midland City, Alabama.
He showed WBTV a military photo of his dad from 1968.
"What do you think about when you see that picture?" asked reporter Sarah Batista.
"The smile," he said.
Aaron remembers his father Charles Poland as a kind and honorable man with a big smile.
It's no surprise to him, his father is now considered a hero.
"[He was] always helping, he loved to help people, care for people," said Aaron.
Poland was driving a bus full of children last week when Jimmy Lee Dykes charged onto the bus and demanded Poland get off.
The 66-year-old didn't back down. He stalled the gunman while some of the children exited out the back of the bus.
But Dykes grew impatient. Officials say he shot Poland four times before leaving the scene with a 5-year-old boy on the bus named Ethan.
"When you get a call, you know you talked to your dad the week before and the next thing you know, you ain't going to talk to him anymore. It's overwhelming," said Aaron.
Dykes held Ethan captive in an underground bunker until the FBI rescued the child nearly a week later. Dykes was shot and killed in the process.
Aaron and his mother took comfort in knowing Ethan was safe.
"She was crying out, she said your dad's last stop is done, his job is finished, the last child is in his momma's hands safe," said Aaron.
For Aaron, the past two weeks have taught him a valuable lesson.
"If you have a loved one, your kids, your wife or your husband or whoever it may be that you care for, let them know everyday that you love them, because it could be the last time you tell them," he said.