It took less than 30 seconds.
The day after the attack on Dallas police, Chris Mannoia walked to the closest law enforcement agency to his house, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. He laid down a bouquet of flowers on the steps and said a silent prayer.
“I wasn’t doing it for points or anything. I was doing it so these people could see some support,” Mannoia said.
He never knew anyone was watching.
“I was thinking at that time about those officers that were killed in Dallas, and I thought about how this is a continual thing and it seems like it’s every day now. How sad it was,” he said.
After his prayer, Chris put his Navy cap back on and walked away.
He thought that was the end of it.
But I happened to be there, getting video of the flags at half staff and captured the moment.
I posted the short clip to Facebook, where it’s been now been viewed more than 94,000 times as of Tuesday.
“I saw people on Facebook that night. People were like sending me messages. That was wonderful. That was wonderful. And I was like, 'What?'” he said.
Chris had no idea what he’d done was being seen by thousands. His efforts touched a lot of you.
One person posted, “This brought tears to my eyes.”
“Wow. Chills," another person responded. "Nice to see that a citizen appreciates our people.”
Many others, including those who work in law enforcement, just said “thanks.”
“I think they are teared up because people realize these police officers are under siege all the time,” he said.
Chris feels a kinship with police from his time in uniform while in the Navy.
He suffers from PTSD, but still volunteers to help other veterans get benefits.
And he’s about to start teaching inmates at the jail.
He didn’t think what he did on those steps was anything special.
But he’s glad to contribute something positive in a time where it seems to be greatly needed.