A 10-year-old girl who sent a get well card to an officer injured during the recent U.S. Capitol riots has now formed a special connection with the policeman.
After watching the terrifying events unfold in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, Johnna Jablonski of Billings, Montana, told Good Morning America that her daughter Emma was deeply upset and wanted to do something to help.
Johnna explained that Emma had seen a viral video of Officer Daniel Hodges, 32, being crushed by rioters against a metal door frame while inside the Capitol.
"She kept saying, 'What are they doing to that man? He's just doing his job,' " Johnna said. "She had this outpouring of care, concern and questions about why this was happening. My gut instinct would be to say, 'You're too young. You don't need to worry about that.' But, she was emotionally impacted."
To help Emma cope with her feelings, her mother suggested she write down her thoughts. Emma decided to make a get well card for the officer, which Johnna later tweeted out in hopes that Hodges would see it.
"I hope you heal from being crushed. I feel bad for you. Those people are really bad hurting you… I saw the video on CNN about people crushing you with a door. I almost cried. Get well," Emma wrote in her letter.
A few hours later, D.C. police responded to the message and noted that "Officer Hodges is recovering and doing well." They also sent an address to Johnna for her daughter to mail the card.
According to ABC News, a local news outlet also connected Emma with Hodges directly. The pair had the opportunity to speak via video chat and the fourth-grader has since sent Hodges the card along with a few gifts.
Nearly 60 D.C. police officers and several Capitol officers were injured in the siege earlier this month. Five people died in the attack, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died from his injuries after suffering blunt-force trauma to the head.
Since the riots, the National Guard has been stationed outside the Capitol, where thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters gathered outside in D.C. and forced their way into the building.
Motivated by the president, the rioters stormed the Capitol and were photographed scaling walls, breaking windows, roaming through the building, looting and vandalizing in congressional chambers and lawmaker offices. Rioters also ripped an American flag off of a flagpole outside the Capitol building and replaced it with a Trump flag.
Trump later declared a state of emergency in D.C. with federal assistance ordered through Jan. 24 as authorities prepare for more potential violence when Biden is sworn in on aJan. 20, PEOPLE previously reported.
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