Flags in Arlington are flying at half-staff today in honor of Alexandria paramedic Joshua Weissman.
Weissman died last week after falling 20-30 feet from I-395 while responding to a vehicle fire near Shirlington. Yesterday Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell authorized flags in Alexandria and Arlington to fly at half-staff in Weissman’s memory.
Family, friends, fellow firefighters and the public are mourning Weissman’s death at funeral services in Alexandria this afternoon. Some 2,000 people and 200 fire vehicles are expected to take part in the funeral procession and services, which have shut down several busy streets around the city and prompted an early dismissal from Alexandria schools.
A total of 27 decorative flags were burned overnight on a quiet couple of blocks between Quantico Street and Sycamore Street, near Bishop O’Connell High School and Tuckahoe Elementary, according to fire department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. Neighbors say the plastic flags were recently placed in yards by the Boy Scouts, an annual Flag Day tradition.
Investigators believe whoever burned the flags did so just before 5:30 a.m. The fires caused the plastic flags to melt onto plants, yards and walkways. No word on a motive, but one neighbor on 27th Street theorized that the vandal or vandals were trying to send a message.
“There are some people who object to the flags for political reasons,” she said. “There are ways to protest if you don’t believe in something, but destructive protests like this do not accomplish goals. It does not accomplish anything.”
The resident acknowledged, however, that the flag burnings could also be a random act of “pure vandalism,” adding that said she could not remember anything like this happening in the 11 years she has lived in the neighborhood.
“It’s dangerous,” she said. “It could have caused a real fire.”
Anyone with information about the burnings is asked to call Deputy Fire Marshal Paul Frank at 703-228-4644. More photos, after the jump.
Hat tip to Colleen Creighton
As the older version of today’s American Flag waived proudly in the winter air, a small white board set inside a front window of the house it hangs on.
On the board in green marker was written “Today’s Flag: Great Star Flag 1836,” as if to give a brief history lesson on what flag is on display next to the door. No one was home early Monday afternoon to answer questions about the flag, or why it hangs there with its brief description.
Other flags have been known to hang in the same spot, all with their descriptions spelled out on the white board.
The outside walls of the house are pained a mixture of blue and white, and the door a fiery red, clearly matching the flag that adorns the façade. While the flag had the same red and white stripes we’re used to seeing on the flag today, the stars in the field of blue were all arranged into a larger star pattern.
Happy Flag Day — Today is Flag Day. The holiday commemorates the adoption of the United States flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. June 14th also happens to be the birthday of the U.S. Army. Today the Army turns the ripe old age of 235.
Post Writes Up EFC Development Battle — The Washington Post is running a story this morning about the increasingly ugly battle between the East Falls Church Planning Task Force and vocal anti-development residents. The task force and their pro-development allies say that development is inevitable given that East Falls Church will be the transfer station to the new Silver Line. Anti-development forces say they don’t want a nine-story “high-rise” among their “bucolic” bastion of single-family homes. The County Board will discuss the task force’s development plan on Tuesday.
Hope for the Best — Del. Patrick Hope, a member of the Arlington delegation to the Virginia General Assembly, has been named legislator of the year by the Virginia Transit Association. The first-term delegate says he was “honored” to receive the award, which recognizes his work on a transit-related bill. More from the Sun Gazette.
They Live (and Cheer) Among Us — Were you watching the U.S.-England World Cup match at Summers Restaurant in Courthouse over the weekend? Fox News says you might have been rubbing elbows with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes frequents Summers, which, according to Fox News, “is known as one of the best soccer pubs in the country.” For other good soccer venues around Arlington, see our World Cup guide.
Rob Yonick is sick and tired of people stealing his Canadian flag from outside his Yorktown home. He doesn’t know who’s doing it, he doesn’t know why they’re doing it, but he wants it to stop.
Despite the thefts, Yonick says l’Unifolié will still be proudly displayed for all to see this weekend, in time for the epic U.S.-Canada Olympic hockey matchup on Sunday.
“I’m going to put a flag in the window,” he said defiantly, adding that “there’s no doubt” Canada, backed by Pittsburgh Penguins star and Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby, will defeat the American team.
Yonick, a stout Canadian Embassy employee, first had his beloved Maple Leaf stolen this past Columbus Day. He chalked it up to misplaced patriotic fervor.
Undeterred, Yonick bought two new flags — a Canadian flag and an American flag — and bolted each flag to a column outside his stately N. Columbus St. house.
Earlier this week, the American flag disappeared, leaving only a bare, mangled flagpole. Then at some point on Thursday, the Canadian flag vanished, flagpole and all, leaving Yonick flummoxed.
“I don’t know if it’s kids playing a prank, or someone who doesn’t like Canada,” he said. After writing about it on Facebook, a friend suggested the Olympics might have something to do with it, a theory Yonick says is possible but unlikely.