A show of support
Standing on the corner of Pike Avenue and Pratten Street in Columbus, braving 30-degree weather with a slight breeze, is probably not most people’s idea of a festive Christmas Eve.
But that’s where Don McKim and Jay Jaworski chose to be, holding a sign that read “God Bless Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, First Responders Merry Christmas!”
The men explained that it was their way of showing respect and appreciation to law enforcement and emergency service workers who serve and protect the community. The pair said this was especially important given the crisis the country is currently in. On the national state, an anti-police sentiment surfaced following grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo., and New York in which police officers were cleared in two separate incidents involving suspects being killed while resisting arrest. Just days ago tension and tragedy was pushed even higher with the assassination of two New York Police officers by a man who claimed to be taking action in retribution for the Ferguson and New York killings.
For Jaworski and McKim, their presence at that corner on Christmas Even morning was simply about showing local authorities that not everyone is on the anti-police bandwagon.
It was Jaworski’s second day out with the sign.
“That wind came up and it got chilly. But I got such great community interaction that I stayed out for three hours,” Jarowski said.
On Christmas Eve morning, several cars slowed when passing the men, giving them the thumbs up sign, waving or honking to show their support. McKim said one motorist rolled down his window to show he was wearing a New York Police Department hat. The pair was also visited by police and fire fighters who stopped to offer their thanks.
Jarowski returned to the spot Friday morning.