Today, on the 13th anniversary of the triple attacks now known as 9/11, we pause to remember the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, their families, and so many others who will never forget the images of that horrific day in our nation’s history. Structures can be rebuilt, but the impact on lives may never be fully identified or understood. The human spirit is resilient, but that same spirit needs replenishment from time to time.
Replenishment of spirit is a goal of the 9/11 Unity Walk, to be held in Washington, D. C. on Sunday, September 21. Participants will gather at 1:30 p.m. at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street, N.W. (parking is available in their lot, or on the street), for a brief service before embarking on a stroll to houses of worship on Embassy Row/Massachusetts Avenue.
For the ninth year, people of different faiths, philosophies, cultures, and those who claim no faith, are invited to experience a world of traditions through music, art, architecture, service, and food. To synagogues, churches, temples, and mosques, everyone walks as one, and builds friendships, understanding, and cross-cultural alliances, in a single afternoon! Archbishop Desmond Tutu honored the importance of the 9/11 Unity Walk when he said “Meet someone of a different faith and you will discover we are sisters and brothers…. You will walk and walls of suspicion will fall.…”
The walk reinforces the reality that we are united, rather than divided, by our many faiths. The event is free, but donations are welcome. Please dress comfortably for the walk, but respectfully for the venues. More information is available at www.911unitywalk.org.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for Fairfax County’s new Public Safety Headquarters is scheduled for next Tuesday, September 16, at 9 a.m., at the site next to the Herrity Building on Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. The majority of the funding for the new headquarters was obtained through the sale of EDA Bonds.
For at least two decades, the police and fire department administrative headquarters has been located in the Massey Building, the former county government center in the City of Fairfax. The 1960s-era building was state-of-the-art when it was built, but is badly out of date, fraught with leaks, mold, and balky elevators, certainly not a pleasant work environment for anyone assigned there.
The new building will include more efficient space, a parking garage, and security improvements. It will occupy the last parcel on the government center campus, always planned for an additional county facility as the county grows in population and complexity. The temporary ball field has been removed, but the ponds and open space amenities adjacent to the Herrity Building remain. The new Public Safety Headquarters is expected to open for business in 2016.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]