MOUNT GILEAD — Gabrielle Kosztelnik showed up to Back The Blue on Saturday afternoon — and had good reasons for doing so.
“I am very disappointed to see what’s going on in our country. It breaks my heart for my children and future generations,” she said. “I believe we need to stand with our police force.”
The Cardington resident brought her husband Janos and three children. Their son Istvan, almost 4 years old, was dressed in a police officer’s uniform. Anastasia and Matthias also were there.
“I can not see my country get torn apart,” she said. “I believe 100 percent that there are more good officers than bad officers.”
Gabrielle is from California and Janos came here from Hungary.
A group of about 25 residents came to support law enforcement on the downtown square. Motorists passing by honked their horns and some yelled, “Back The Blue.”
Rose Sterling worries about law enforcement personnel on duty — most notably one of them.
“My son is a police officer and it’s pretty sad when I have to pray every day that he comes home safe. That is why I’m out there today,” said the Mount Gilead resident.
Sterling believes that police officers “are being made to be the criminals in this day and age, more so in the last three months. Their job is getting increasingly harder and they don’t get the support of people who run their department or the government.”
She noted that it might be different in smaller communities where they do receive backing.
“We still need to be supportive all the way around because we need them. There is no point to de-funding anything,” Sterling said.
Another person with a direct connection to the police force is Calum, whose brother Chase Beekman, is on the Mount Gilead village police force. Their father, Larry Beekman, also wore the uniform.
“I’m here for all the police officers. I have a ton of respect for them and they need it right now, Calum said.
Groups in different states have been holding rallies in recent weeks to show support and appreciation to the men and women of law enforcement who work in their communities.