How unfortunate to have Memorial Day pass and not to enjoy the usual festival and parade in the City of Falls Church.
For as long as this newspaper has been in existence, approaching 30 years, it has been a special joy to us to set up our modest little booth, hand out copies of our paper and often special programs for the Memorial Day events, and to jump into one of two incarnations of our legendary convertible Mustang to ride along the parade route waving and greeting the thousands who lined the parade route on Park Avenue, often throwing out something, from fortune cookies to even mini frisbees and bottle openers with the News-Press logo.
Every year it has been such a summery and copasetic event, even as the crowds routinely grew past 10,000.
For those who’ve been to them all, or most of them, and for those who came to town after the last one in 2019 and yet to experience one, anticipation of next year’s is something they can carry with them, as we do, for the whole coming year.
Extra incentive to wear those masks, wash those hands and socially distance so the Covid-19 virus will be history by then.
It has always been a time to renew acquaintances, as for many young people growing up in Falls Church and off to college or a career elsewhere, it was a time to come back and wander around the many booths and kiddy rides, munching on a funnel cake or corn dog, and running into an old friend.
There never has been anything pretentious or off-putting about the event. It was like the atmosphere that surrounded it has always been too strong for any of that.
Dogs and kids were the kings and queens of it all, even if the local high school prom versions were those formally celebrated at the head of the parade.
This Memorial Day would have been a perfect one, from a weather standpoint.
It is our hope that coming out of this current pandemic lockdown situation, a lot of the simpler things of life will gain new currency in our culture, and small town values of friendliness and mutual respect will rise to the forefront of the things we want most out of life and are willing to commit to.
Big world problems, of course, are not kept out of little Falls Church.
On the contrary, most of the gainfully employed people here spend their daytime hours in very challenging jobs that cope with such things on a daily basis.
But those efforts are best informed by the sentiments that arise from cotton candy, squealing little kids on a merry-go-round and a German shepherd wearing a big summer hat.
That’s what’s going to energize the effort to reclaim our sublime republic, to take it back from the grifters, nihilists and ne’er-do-wells that are seemingly dominating our politics these days.