The police officers from many departments across Tennessee lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on either side of the school entrance to welcome her.
It's impossible to fill the void of a parent who has passed away, but there are things that loved ones and the community can do to help fill that void. Anna lost her police officer dad, Kevin Stolinsky, after he suffered a medical emergency last November. The Navy veteran was a loving member of the community and a dear friend to colleagues at the La Vergne police department in Tennessee. It's customary for parents to accompany kids to their first day of kindergarten, and with Anna starting kindergarten, police officers from local departments showed up to remind her that she was not alone and that she had many police officers looking out for her. It was also a gesture to honor the memory of their colleague, Detective Sargeant Kevin Stolinsky, who died while on duty. “It was a very, very special day. All those officers who came out to support the memory of my husband,” said Casey Stolinsky, reported Inside Edition.
Anna and her mother were given a police escort by several motorcycle officers as the 5-year-old headed for in her first day of kindergarten in Smyrna. The police officers from many departments across Tennessee lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on either side of the school entrance to welcome and guide her to her first day of school. She high-fived the cops and got a hug and a kiss from her mother and grandmother before entering class. Anna said she was so happy to see all the cops line up to support her but added that it also made her sad because she missed her dad. “That made me start to cry. I was sad. That reminded me of my dad and was feeling like I never get to see him,” said Anna. The 5-year-old said she remembered her dad as being kind and special. Her mother reminded her that he loved her very very much. Anna then said she wished she could see him one more time, in the emotional interview.
Kevin Stolinsky was well-loved among his colleagues and was given a huge send-off at his funeral. Stolinsky joined the force in 2001 and served for more than 20 years before passing away on November 12, 2021. "He was one of the best of us," said La Vergne Mayor Jason Cole, who personally knew Stolinsky, reported Daily News Journal. "He constantly fought to make things better for others. Wasn't for himself. He was always fighting for other people, and always trying to make any situation (better), whether it was work or life. Kevin was known and loved in this community. Everyone knew him. He was at every event. He was at the parades. He was at every city event. He wasn't just a police officer," he said at the time.
People got emotional watching the video. "She is just starting Kindergarten and is carrying on like a champ for her father. May he rest in peace, he would be proud to see who his daughter will become," wrote one person. Another added, "They raised her well. She's not shy and carries herself very well in front of the masses... Her father must be proud." One person added, "She holds up better than I would and I’m a 20-year-old man. It brings tears to my eyes. Even though I don’t know her dad, he seemed to be a good person." Another person commented, "Whether you like the police or not, no child deserves to lose their parent including said children whose parents were in law enforcement. Hope she gets the support needed to move on and have a good life. RIP to her father."