By MARINA WATERS
While Fourth of July parades and events looked a little different this year in light of the pandemic, Angela Benge took it upon herself to show her patriotism — and support of law enforcement — in the form of two homemade cakes.
Benge, who is a member of the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, made a red white and blue cake for members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Jonesborough Police Department to “show support” and thank local police officers.
“They’re there to support us when we’re in trouble or need them,” Benge said, “and we want them to know we’re there to support them as well.”
The DAR member also said she felt the large amount of negativity displayed on social media throughout the country lately also made her want to say thank you to local law enforcement officers.
“I think they are receiving a very loud dose of negativity and condemnation from what I feel is a minority of the population,” Benge said. “I feel it is time for the silent majority to not be so silent, to say ‘thank you’ and to recognize they have a very difficult job and that we appreciate them.”
The cakes, complete with strawberries and blueberries arranged on top to look like the American flag, were more than just a tasty treat on a July afternoon; Benge said she also felt it lifted the spirits of the men and women at the police departments.
“I think they were very moved and appreciative,” Benge said. “I think it meant a lot to them to know and hear positive support in the community, appreciation and recognition that they have a difficult job to do.”
The DAR focuses on showing patriotism and has done so in the past by bringing American flags to the annual Jonesborough Days festival to honor the fourth of July, though this year, the group opted to provide the town with flags that were available at the visitors center during this year’s block party. But through similar projects — and the occasional hand-delivered cake — patriotism is a top priority for Benge and other DAR members.
“The DAR is an organization that promotes patriotism and good citizenship,” Benge said. “We want to recognize that in students but also in the public in general as well as historic preservation and respect for our flag.”
Though tensions are running high during the pandemic and protests and riots throughout the country, Benge said the DAR focuses on patriotism and citizenship rather than supporting any political party over another. And for her, supporting local law enforcement is another top priority.
“We don’t engage in politics, perse, as far as promoting Republican or Democrat candidates or anything like that. In general, we promote patriotic citizenship and I definitely believe supporting law enforcement is a way of doing that.”