A 5-year-old girl stepped into her first day of kindergarten last Thursday, accompanied by a group of Tennessee police officers who were her late father's colleagues.
Officers from the La Vergne Police Department arrived at her home on Aug. 8 via 20 motorcycles and five cars to escort Anna Stolinsky to her new school. The heartwarming and heartbreaking gesture was made to honor the girl's father, Sgt. Kevin Stolinsky, who died of a heart attack while on duty last year, TODAY reported.
"I was reading a book and went to tell my Nana, 'The policemen are here!'" Anna said, per the outlet.
Anna's mother Casey Stolinsky was aware of the plan after her brother-in-law, David Stolinsky — also an officer from the department — asked for her permission.
Casey told TODAY she and her daughter later took a ride from Lt. David Durham, the same officer who drove them to the hospital, "the night we got the call [about Kevin]."
"I sat in that same seat," she added.
Upon their arrival at Lancaster Christian Academy in Smyrna, the family was welcomed by a group of officers who were ready to cheer on Anna while she made her way into the school's building.
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The police department also shared a video of the precious moment via their Facebook page.
"Today was the first day of kindergarten for Anna Stolinsky, daughter of La Vergne Police Lt. Kevin Stolinsky who passed away on Nov. 12, 2021," they wrote in the caption. "In honor of her father and in support of her family, Anna and her mom were given a police escort to school and then were surrounded by officers from multiple departments as she made her way to the front doors."
La Vergne Police Department
"Anna even went back to give each of the officers a high five to thank them for helping her get to school safely," they continued.
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Last year, the officers also showed their respects to Anna by presenting an American flag to her at Kevin's memorial service, per Daily News Journal.
While reflecting on his late brother's time as an officer, David noted that Kevin "was doing what he loved."
"He was supporting families of police officers," David explained. "He was encouraging families of police officers. That's the family business."