“There doesn’t seem to be anyone against us,” I thought as I stood at a busy intersection with a sign asking people to honk in support of the police. The response was overwhelming. The din was such that it was hard to talk to other participants nearby.
I was comforted by knowing that my rally that occupied three of the intersection’s corners was not the only one. Across the country, some 3,000 Saint Michael Support the Police rosary rallies were taking place. I have no doubt that most experienced similar public support.
The nationwide initiative to support the police is part of the Return to Order campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). The campaign directors noticed the enormous leftist pressure on law enforcement. In addition, liberal media encourage hatred of the police while reporting favorably on the riots and their enablers. As defenders of order, we resolved to do something.
What began as a few rosary rally tests in the public square quickly ballooned into requests for help in organizing rallies all over the country. The Return to Order campaign designated September 26 as a day of support for the police. The nationwide effort was placed under the protection of Saint Michael, patron of law enforcement, and the Archangel did not fail us: Some 3,000 rallies were soon registered.
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That is how I ended up on a Hanover, Pennsylvania street corner with my honk sign. Liberal media spin a narrative suggesting that everyone is against the thin blue line. I wanted to see for myself what regular Americans think about those who protect them.
I found out that everything I read in the media about the public’s negative perception of the police was wrong. It was a bald-faced lie. I saw with my own eyes—and heard with my ears—that the overwhelming majority of Americans love their police officers.
Several things impressed me about my police rosary rally. The first was how this was not a polarizing issue but rather a unifying one. Hot-button issues will always provoke opposition and even counter-demonstrators. I have done those. However, that was not what happened Saturday. On supporting the police, everyone seemed to be on board. Very few were opposed. At the end of a one-hour rosary rally, I could count them on my fingers—less than ten.
Secondly, the support was across the board. They honked, whatever their political party, religion, race or ethnicity. Old and young, men and women, white or black, Hispanic or Asian, everyone was supportive. They represented a sample, a cross-section of society. The twenty or so participants in my rally were not pundits speculating in the abstract about a murky public opinion. No, we were watching the reactions of real people, your typical Americans who share the concerns facing the nation.
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Finally, the enthusiasm level of the passersby impressed me. These Americans did not express their support with just a polite wave or a discreet honk. Once they understood that the rally was honoring the country’s police and their service, they honked loudly. They gave thumbs up, waved energetically and shouted out encouragement whole-heartedly. It was impossible not to see the great joy in their support. They shared it unreservedly. They were loud in expressing their surprised pleasure at unexpectedly seeing people like us out in the public square, praying the Rosary for the police.
Perhaps some of them felt we were doing and saying what they would like to do and say, but lacked the means to do so. Thus, when they saw us, they jumped with joy. As for us, we too delighted at the overwhelming support for the police that liberal media assured us we would never find in the public square.
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The Saturday lunchtime rally was a joyous occasion. Four bagpipers participating in our rally added to the festive atmosphere.
As mentioned, there were a few who did not like our display of support for the police. As they drove away, they would curse, gesture or shout at us. These enraged individuals resented and hated us because we did not fit into the liberal narrative that misrepresents the police’s role in maintaining order in society. Far from discouraging us, their hostility emboldened us to continue.
During the rally, we prayed the Rosary for the police, their safety and a return to order in America. At the moment of prayer, we united ourselves with so many others praying at thousands of other rally locations. We invoked Saint Michael, whose picture appeared on our free banner, which, like the other 3,000 rally banners across America, read: “Saint Michael, protect our police, so that they can protect us!”
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During the rally, an elderly gentleman approached me and asked about the event. He was a retired police officer and thanked us profusely for what we were doing. He said we had no idea what this means to people like him. His comments helped show that we hit the mark with these rosary rallies. We broke the media myth that says the public does not support the police.
Return to Order police rallies will continue. The next nationwide rosary rallies are Saturday, October 31, at noon, local time. We hope that we might reach 10,000 rallies by then. You can register for this rally by clicking here. See you there!
Did you have a rally? Tell us about it in the comment section below.