Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News from Greater Falls Church

No matter what language, “thank you” is an appropriate and thoughtful phrase at any time of the year.

As we celebrate the traditional American Thanksgiving rituals of family and food, let’s take a moment to give thanks to so many who help make our community a better place nearly every day.

• A great big “Thank You” to Fairfax County police officers who keep our streets safe and protect our neighborhoods. Fairfax County is renowned as one of the safest jurisdictions for a county of its population in the entire nation. Fairfax County taxpayers support well-trained, well-equipped police officers, and should be rightfully proud of the job they do for us 24/7.

• Similarly, “Thank You” to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. They also are there for us 24/7, responding to fire calls in highrises at Skyline, or leading the 4th of July parade in Lee Boulevard Heights. Mason District is blessed with six fire stations, three of them owned by volunteers, so first responder help is just minutes away.

• “Thank You” to our faith communities who provide services for the needy in our community, mostly on a volunteer basis. Food and shelter for homeless persons, rent assistance for families, food pantries, and child care programs are among the many opportunities that congregations identify and step forward to help. We are indeed “our brother’s keeper.”

• “Thank You” to park volunteers such as Tim Dokken who has spearheaded the removal of invasive plants and the redesign of Bel Air neighborhood park in Falls Church, and Ray Hubbard who arranged to have a crumbling stairway rebuilt on a walking trail at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale Community Park. The new steps make the walk much safer, and reduce erosion into the stream.

• This was a huge year for elections, and the many election officials and volunteers who staffed Mason District’s 28 precincts, plus the absentee in-person site at the Mason District Governmental Center, deserve a big “Thank You” for their long hours of work to ensure that the voting process worked fairly and equitably, and that there were few glitches in tallying the final vote.

• Paper or plastic? As we seek a greener environment, “Thank You” to all those organizations who provide fabric bags as giveaways for toting groceries and other consumables. I guess I really don’t mind the advertising logos on the bags; reducing paper and plastic in the waste stream is the important thing.

• Finally, “Thank You” to the drivers who slow down in school zones, who actually stop before turning right on red, who maintain their patience behind someone waiting to turn left, and who don’t toot their horn the second the signal changes.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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