ARVADA, Colo. — It’s a hug that is getting worldwide attention thanks to the Internet. A surveillance image from the Arvada Police Department’s Arbor Lake Station captured the moment when an 83-year-old woman hugged officer Chris Steiner, a 20-year-veteran.
Mary is upset about the recent violence against police officers across the United States. She went to the police station on Labor Day to show her appreciation for officers and ended up giving an officer a hug. And an appreciative officer was happy to accept it.
Like many citizens, Mary has an American flag that hangs outside of her house. She has a patriotic sign that hangs on her door. And yet she took her love of all things American one step further.
She walked to her local police station, picked up the phone and told the lady who answered why she was there.
“That I wanted to express my appreciation to what our police people are doing,” Mary said.
And after she waited for a minute, “This policeman came out, and, well, the minute he came out, I gave him a hug and told him how much I appreciated what the police people are doing.”
Mary doesn’t want to give her last name. She said it was while reading a book, “A Higher Call,” about a couple of World War II fighter pilots befriending one another that she was motivated to act out of kindness.
“The German fighter escorted the American pilot to safety rather than shooting him out of the sky.”
And thus, another random act of kindness, paid forward.
“That police officer that I hugged was some mother’s baby boy,” Mary said.
She thinks the attention the gesture has garnered is unnecessary.
“It’s just gotten too overwhelming, way overwhelming,” she said.
Mary and her husband have written Christmas cards to police officers and firefighters since 1961. She also said she thinks more people should get off the computer and write a letter to someone — in cursive.
But she said she does have a message to share.
“Why are people falling away from each other?” she said. “All lives matter, no matter what. More hugs, less guns.”