Independent’s Day is a weekly opinion column by published on Wednesdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
In our area, Arlington, Virginia is known for many things; both serious and perhaps a little frivolous (thanks Remy).
To the world, Arlington is home to the Pentagon: the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. As one of three crash sites on 9/11/2001, the Pentagon and our county share a unique history with New York City and Somerset, Pennsylvania. The USS New York (LPD-21) was commissioned on 11/2/2009 and the USS Somerset (LPD-25) was christened on 7/28/2012. This spring, Arlington will join those cities in commemorating the September 11th attacks when the USS Arlington (LPD-24) is commissioned.
The USS Arlington (LPD-24) is a San Antonio-class, amphibious transport dock built to host 800 Marines. These ships are meant to head a transformation and modernization of Navy ships to aid in Marine deployment. This particular vessel will be the third in the United States Navy to bear Arlington’s name but the first to travel throughout the world with steel taken from the crash site at the Pentagon.
Aboard the ship will be a tribute room to honor the lives lost due to the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 77. This ship’s sponsor is Mrs. Joyce Rumsfeld, wife of former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. At the 2011 christening, Mrs. Rumsfeld was quoted this way by a Mississippi blog:
“To me, this ship represents to full story of that day, the unimaginable followed by the courage, determination, focus and love of country that was demonstrated every day after 9/11,” Rumsfeld said. “It represents the first responders, the men and women working at the Pentagon, the families, the hard hats, the construction workers, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, volunteers, chaplains, residents of Arlington.”
Every person’s experience with 9/11 is personal. Like many I was at work when the attacks began. Some people were quiet, some people immediately started crying and some people started crying as the morning wore on. A couple of executives took charge and I remember one in particular admitting that he didn’t know whether it was safer to stay at work or head to the Metro. We each had a personal reaction to what happened that day and annually we are reminded of that experience; whether we want to be or not. This Navy ship provides one other way for us to share a uniquely local experience with the world.
The Navy League of Hampton Roads, a 501 (c) (3) organization, members of the Arlington community and Northern Virginia residents have formed a commissioning committee for a possible April 6th commissioning ceremony. The Sun Gazette recently reported the bipartisan nature of this venture with both County Democrats and County Republicans in support of this very “Arlington” project.
We can support the USS Arlington commissioning by donating directly to the Navy League of Hampton Roads or by celebrating local business owners who show their support by displaying a door decal which bears the emblem.
“Never Forget” is the official byword for the commissioning committee; as if we ever could actually forget. The three naval ships, now including our USS Arlington, will travel for years throughout international waters to ensure that neither will the rest of the world.
For more information on how you can participate as a volunteer, donor or in any other capacity, just send a note to [email protected] or call 703-328-5246.
Jason Howell, a former accountant and motivational speaker, ran as an independent candidate for U.S. Congress in 2012.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village