An Arlington, Va., church has hung 176 T-shirts on its front lawn, with each shirt representing someone shot to death in the D.C. area last year.
First Presbyterian Church, at the intersection of N. Carlin Springs Road and Vermont Street, steps from Ballston Common Mall, displayed the shirts on Saturday. Each garment shows the name of a victim, the victim’s age and the date in 2013 that he or she died.
Eighty-two white shirts represent people killed in D.C. Victims in Northern Virginia are honored with 31 yellow shirts. And 63 blue shirts were hung for people in Maryland. The display was coordinated by Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based nonprofit with a mission to end gun violence.
“Each [victim] is a human being, a child of God,” a flier the organization is distributing at the memorial reads. “Each one deserves to be remembered. Each passing deserves to be noted and mourned.”
Heeding God’s Call is trying to grow support for its efforts to combat “straw purchasing” done when someone legally purchases guns to re-sell them, sometimes to people who cannot legally purchase a gun because they have a criminal record, a mental illness or are too young. The group says the cemetery-like display is designed to be a reminder that straw purchasing is how many guns “end up illegally in the hands of those who use them to destroy countless lives.”
“Unlike a cemetery, this memorial isn’t behind trees and gates where no one can see it,” the flier reads. “It’s on public view where folks driving, biking or walking past not only can see it but can be reminded of the violence that happens day in and day out in the Greater Washington area and, yes, throughout the country.”
The memorial will be on display through Sept. 27.
Hat tip to @ipadreporter
Arlington County held its annual observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day this morning.
The ceremony took place at 8:00 p.m. in the plaza between police headquarters and the county jail. Arlington police officers and sheriff’s deputies were joined by county officials and law enforcement personnel from surrounding jurisdictions in remembering the six Arlington County police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Those officers are:
- Special Police Officer Louis Shaw, killed on Dec. 6, 1935 when his vehicle was struck by a fuel tanker and burst into flames. A prisoner in the vehicle was also killed.
- Detective Russell Pettie, shot and killed on Jan. 20, 1954 while executing a search warrant.
- Officer Arthur Chorovich, fatally injured on Dec. 5, 1964 when his police motorcycle was struck by a vehicle.
- Officer Israel Gonzalez, shot and killed on Oct. 25, 1972 during a bank robbery in Crystal City.
- Officer George Pomraning, Jr., shot and killed on Sept. 2, 1973 while transporting a prisoner. The prisoner pulled a gun out of his boot while in the backseat of a police car and shot Pomraning several times.
- Officer John Buckley, shot and killed on April 15, 1977 during a bank robbery.
Among those who spoke at the ceremony were County Board Vice Chairman Mary Hynes, Sheriff Beth Arthur, Arlington County Civic Federation President Michael McMenamin, and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran.
“Taps” was performed by members of the police department and sheriff’s office. “Amazing Grace” was also performed, by bagpipers from the Arlington County Police Department and the U.S. Border Patrol Pipe and Drum Band.
Andrew Alford, a third-grader at Long Branch Elementary School, died for still-unexplained reasons on April 11. This Saturday several groups around Arlington are organizing fundraisers and events to honor his memory.
This Saturday at 6:45 p.m., Arlington Little League, in cooperation with the Mothers of North Arlington, Long Branch PTA and Evolve All Martial Arts, is coordinating a memorial ceremony at Barcroft Sport and Fitness Center (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) on baseball field No. 1. Those in attendance are asked to wear orange, Andrew’s favorite color, and to write remembrances of Andrew for his family to keep.
“While for me this is a personal tragedy that I will never recover from, the community has been amazing in their support of Andrew and me in their efforts to honor his memory and the amazing boy he was,” Louisa Marinaccio, Andrew’s mother, told ARLnow.com in an email. “Andrew loved orange, the Pittsburgh Pirates and his momma. He dreamed of pitching for the Pirates in the World Series and owning a mint condition Honus Wagner card.”
In addition to the event Saturday night, the Arlington Little League has pledged to transform the dirt field at Long Branch in Lyon Park into a full-fledged baseball field in an effort they’ve named the Andrew Alford Memorial Project. Marinaccio said Frank Coonelly, the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, reached out to her and pledged to donate to the fund.
In addition, MONA will start the Andrew Alford Buddy Bench Project, according to Marinaccio, “as an annual community service project with a goal of installing an orange Buddy Bench in Andrew’s honor at every elementary school in Arlington.”
Arlington Little League President Adam Balutis recounted his favorite Andrew story in an email he wrote to the parents of little leaguers.
“He was playing catcher on a close play at the plate, and an opposing player slid hard into Andrew, accidentally hitting him in the face with his cleats,” Balutis wrote. “With dirt and blood all over his face, Andrew’s mother told him that all the girls at school would say he looked cute and tough and cool. She said Andrew refused to wash his face for hours.”
Photos courtesy Louisa Marinaccio
(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) A memorial fund has been established for Jennifer Lawson, the Arlington mom who was killed after being struck by a dump truck in front of Nottingham Elementary School yesterday morning.
Lawson, 39, was placing her two-year-old daughter in the rear seat of her minivan, after volunteering at the school, when the truck struck her and the side of the van. Her daughter was unhurt. Her two sons, who attend Nottingham, were inside the school at the time.
The family had recently returned from a vacation to Costa Rica, we’re told.
A close friend of the family, Trent Livingston, has set up a fund to “help offset the unforeseen costs of this tragic event” and to benefit Lawson’s three children. He hopes to raise $5,000.
“[Jennifer] was such a great mom, so devoted to her husband and her family,” Livingston told ARLnow.com from his home in Seattle. “She leaves behind so many friends who love her so much. This has just been so shocking and so terrible.”
As of 11:30 a.m. the fund had raised $620. As of 3:15 p.m. it had raised $7,439.
So far, no charges have been filed against the driver of the dump truck. That could change at any minute, though.
“Because of the nature of the accident, the investigation is going to take a little longer,” according to Arlington County Police spokesman Lt. Michael Watson. “It’s much more in-depth than most accident investigations.”
A public memorial service will be held for long-time Arlington civic activist Robert “Bob” Atkins early next month.
The memorial service will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4, at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street), according to Atkins’ friend and fellow Civic Federation delegate Suzanne Sundberg. Atkins died peacefully at his Bluemont home on Monday, Dec. 9.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VORA (Virginia Organizations Responding to AIDS) — at VORA Main Office, P.O. Box 4780, Woodbridge, Va. 22194 — or to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington — at AWLA, Attention: Development Manager, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington, Va. 22206.
Arlington Volunteer Fire Department, Company One held its annual memorial service and celebrated its 90th anniversary on Saturday afternoon.
Held at the fire station at 500 S. Glebe Road, the ceremony was also the unveiling of a park to the north of the station and new memorial statues honoring firefighters, both career and volunteer, who have died. Family members of deceased firefighters laid roses and the feet of the memorial during Saturday’s ceremony.
Fire Company One was originally located on S. Edgewood Street when it opened in 1923. The keynote speaker at the event was Judge Henry Hudson, of the Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond, who is a lifelong member of Company One.
Photos courtesy Marcy Genest
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) In preparation for Memorial Day, there’s a place in Arlington that might be worth a look — and it’s not Arlington National Cemetery.
Thousands pass by it daily, but many don’t realize that the large, stone structure flanked by cannons across from Clarendon Ballroom (and near the Clarendon Metro station) is actually a war memorial. It was put up by the American Legion and honors Arlington citizens who died in combat, up through Vietnam.
Of particular interest to historians is the World War I plaque on the side of the memorial, facing the intersection of Washington, Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards. Note that the last two names are separated from the others and have the distinction of “colored” listed in parentheses.
County historians say this highlights the racial tensions at the time the plaque was made. However, a local resident with knowledge of the memorial’s history, who requested not to be named, says it wasn’t necessarily a sign of racial tensions. He said it’s simply representative of “how life was at that time.” There’s been debate over changing it, but the decision was made to leave the plaque as is.
The plaque has remained this way during the memorial’s multiple moves. The original location was at Wilson Blvd and Highland Street, then Clarendon Circle, then Courthouse. It was brought back to Clarendon in 1986 and has been there ever since.
The memorial was first erected in the early 1930s.
Police are shutting down Washington Boulevard in both directions between I-395 and Route 110.
Initial reports suggest the road is being closed at the request of the Pentagon due to a suspicious package at the 9/11 Memorial. The Arlington County bomb squad is assisting with the incident.
The county is advising motorists to seek an alternate route.
Steve Jobs Memorial Grows — The Post-it-Note memorial to Steve Jobs at the Clarendon Apple Store is getting bigger. Since we arrived at the Apple Store yesterday morning, the memorial has grown from zero to dozens of hand-written notes for the late Apple founder.
Favola Takes Aim at Merrick on NRA Rating — Republican State Senate candidate Caren Merrick was given an “A-” rating in a new candidate “scorecard” issued by the National Rifle Association. Democrat Babara Favola, meanwhile, received an “F” rating. But it was Favola who took the offensive. It’s “not a grade my opponent should be proud of,” Favola Tweeted. Said Favola campaign manager Adam Scott: “Caren Merrick is supported by the Tea Party, the NRA, and anti-choice extremists who want to chip away at a woman’s right to choose in Virginia. That’s just not what we need in the state Senate.”
Relocated ‘Nine’ Starts Tonight — The Arlington Players production of ‘Nine’ starts tonight at the Kenmore Middle School Theater. The musical — which was made into a Hollywood movie two years ago — was originally scheduled to be held at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Theater. It had to be relocated, however, due to earthquake damage at the theater. [The Arlington Players]
Lots of Events This Weekend — There’s plenty of stuff going on in Arlington on what promises to be an absolutely beautiful fall weekend. If you want to support a high school car wash, or attend an Oktoberfest, or party with artists, check out our Events Calendar.
Photo courtesy @btrpkc
A memorial to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs has formed outside the Clarendon Apple Store.
Store employees and Apple fans have been leaving heartfelt notes of condolence for Jobs, who passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer. He was 56.
Hailed as a visionary for the way he helped to revolutionize personal computers, smartphones and digital media, Jobs is being mourned at Apple Stores around the country. In Clarendon, flowers, digital printouts, a dozen hand-written Post-it-Notes and a lone apple adorn the entrance to the store.
“I cried last night,” admitted one Apple fan, as reflected upon what Jobs and his company has meant to him over the years.
Update at 11:55 a.m. — Virginia State Police have issued a brief statement about the road closures: “Please be advised that the roads that will be temporarily closed for the 9/11 Memorial Ride will only be shut down for the duration of time it takes for the riders to proceed through safely. Once the last rider has cleared that particular section of the road, it will be re-opened to the motoring public.”
As a reminder, several major highways in Virginia will be shut down this afternoon to accommodate more than 1,800 motorcyclists participating in the America’s 9/11 Foundation Memorial Ride.
Among the highways expected to be shut down in Arlington during the ride this afternoon are eastbound I-66 and Route 110. The bikers’ ultimate destination is the Double Tree Hotel in Pentagon City, where they will be holding a street fair with a performance by country music artist Aaron Tippin from 6:30 to 9:30 tonight.
To accommodate the street fair, Army Navy Drive will be closed today between 12th Street S. and S. Fern Street, from 9:30 a.m. to midnight.
Here’s the press release from Virginia State Police describing the event and some of the closures.
Those living, working and traveling through the Northern Virginia region on the afternoon and evening of Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, are advised to begin preparing now for major road closures associated with a Sept. 11, 2001, motorcycle tribute procession.
This year’s America’s 9/11 Foundation, Inc., event is anticipated to have its largest turnout ever with over 1,800 motorcyclists expected to participate. The annual remembrance ride honors all who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks, aftermath and recovery. The ride travels from Somerset, Pennsylvania to the Pentagon, then to the site of the World Trade Center over a four-day period of time.
Once the riders exit the Dulles Toll Road, they proceed onto the Connector Road and enter Interstate 66. I-66 eastbound will be closed to traffic from the Capital Beltway to Route 110 southbound. No traffic will be allowed to access the on-ramps to I-66 east- bound between Fairfax and Arlington Counties. As a result, heavy traffic congestion and delays are expected on I-66 and I-495. A suggested detour route for travelers headed to the District is to take I-495 north to the George Washington Memorial Parkway or I-495 south to Route 50 east (Arlington Blvd.).
Once the riders reach Route 110 in Arlington, the Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and partnering law enforcement agencies will escort the motorcycles into Crystal City. For more information about the ride through Arlington please visit http://www.arlingtonalert.com.
A police escort will accompany the 9/11 motorcycle riders throughout their entire route in Virginia to ensure the safety of all motorists. With major traffic congestion expected for the 911 Memorial Ride, motorists are strongly advised to prepare themselves for anticipated gridlock in the affected regions. Alternate plans are highly recommended and drivers are advised to be patient. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will have portable message boards alerting motorists to delays. Virginia maps are also available online through VDOT at www.virginiadot.org/travel/maps-state.asp.
For further information about the 9/11 memorial ride, you can visit the Foundation’s Website at www.americas911foundation.org.
The Virginia State Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Leesburg Police, Dulles Greenway, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA PD), Fairfax County Police, Arlington Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police have been working together to coordinate a route that ensures the safety of the motorcyclists and general motoring public while attempting to minimize traffic congestion and delays.
The annual America’s 9/11 Foundation Memorial Ride will be rolling into Arlington on Friday, and several road closures are planned to accommodate the large number of motorcyclists expected to participate.
According to an email from Arlington Alerts, police are planning on shutting down eastbound I-66 from the Beltway to Route 110, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday.
“The [police] escort is being provided to ensure the safety of all motorists along the path of travel,” the email said. “It is recommended that anyone who travels along this route take alternate routes to their destination during this period. It is anticipated I-66 will be reopened by 4:00 pm at the beltway to minimize the impact on rush hour traffic.”
The bikers’ ultimate destination is the Double Tree Hotel at 300 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., ride organizers are planning on holding a street fair-type event on Army Navy Drive, complete with barbeque and beer from street vendors, a gun raffle and a performance by country music artist Aaron Tippin.
According to the Arlington Alerts email, Army Navy Drive will be closed from S. 12th Street to S. Fern Street from 9:30 a.m. to midnight. Traffic will be rerouted around the closure, according to county spokeswoman Mary Curtius. Still, drivers should still expect significant traffic issues around the evening rush hour in Pentagon City if the Army Navy Drive/Eads Street intersection, which leads to an I-395 on-ramp, is blocked.
At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, the ride will move to the Pentagon’s North Parking lot for a ceremony commemorating the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. At 7:00 a.m., the ride will depart the Pentagon and head out across the 14th Street Bridge, en route to New York City.
The ride, which could featuring as many as 3,000 motorcyclists, helps to fund scholarships for the children of 9/11 first responders.
Photo via Facebook
Police Investigate BB Gun Bike-By Shooting — Arlington Police searched for a pair of young men on bikes last night after one of them allegedly shot a woman in the arm with a BB gun near the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and N. Thomas Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood. The suspects made a clean getaway, although one may have been briefly spotted near Ballston. The woman required medical treatment for the wound.
Pentagon Memorial Called ‘Contemplative,’ ‘Noisy’ — Visitors to the Pentagon Memorial are reportedly weirded out by the sound of low-flying planes at the Pentagon Memorial — which was built in honor of the 184 people who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon’s west wall on 9/11/01. The Pentagon is along the flight path of Reagan National Airport. [Associated Press]
WaPo Sums Up the 30th District State Senate Race — As Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka, Del. Adam P. Ebbin and Arlington County School Board member Libby Garvey knock on doors in the 30th state Senate district, Virginia Tech professor Craig Brians commented on the many policy similarities in the three-way primary race. “It’s so difficult for voters to figure out what the real difference is between these people,” he said. [Washington Post]
Arlington Wants Its Money Back — Arlington and other Northern Virginia localities are pushing Gov. Bob McDonnell to return some of the $311 million state budget surplus to local governments. “I think the governor’s going to hear pretty clearly from local governments that they think some of this should be restored, it not all of it,” said Arlington County Board Member Mary Hynes. [Washington Examiner]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement officers completed a 240-mile memorial bicycle ride in Pentagon City today.
The officers, accompanied by dozens of police cars and motorcycles from law enforcement agencies across the country, completed the annual Road to Hope bike ride on Eads Street, in front of the DEA building. A crowd of DEA employees and the agency’s Black and Gold Pipes and Drums Corps greeted the riders, who were clad in matching red, white and blue bike gear.
The ride, sponsored by the group Law Enforcement United, honors “the service and sacrifice of all law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty.” After the stop in front of the DEA building, around 3:00 p.m., the cyclists headed to the Pentagon to pay their respects at the Pentagon Memorial.
The event marks the beginning of National Police Week in the D.C. area. See more photos after the jump.
The Arlington County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office held its annual observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day this morning.
Drummers, bagpipers and a bugler helped to mark the solemn occasion at the Arlington County Justice Center Plaza om Courthouse. Courthouse Road was shut down for the ceremony, which started at 8:00 a.m. Through speeches, the law enforcement community remembered the six Arlington County officers who have died in the line of duty.
Later in the day, Whole Foods and Applegate Farms grilled a free lunch on the plaza for law enforcement officers and employees.
National Police Week, an annual law enforcement gathering held in the D.C. area, officially begins on Friday.