Letters to the Editor: City Examining Annual ‘Civil War Day’ Event


Letters to the Editor: August 31 – September 6, 2017


City Examining Annual ‘Civil War Day’ Event


Regarding the Aug. 17 editorial that raised important questions about the City’s annual Civil War Day – thank you, and we hear you. We are looking at the activities involved in Civil War Day, spurred by continuing assessment of our events as well as those who spoke up about the event last May, expressing concern about the presence of a General Robert E. Lee impersonator.

The purpose of the event has always been to educate and show what life what like in Falls Church in the 1860s. It is also meant to bring the community together to see and learn from the historic Cherry Hill Farmhouse. Past interpreters have included Thaddeus Lowe (Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps), William Blaisdell (Cherry Hill Farmhouse owner from Massachusetts who voted against secession), the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and the Ladies Sanitation Commission (a Federal agency that supported sick and wounded Union soldiers).

I request one correction to the editorial: our annual Civil War event does not include Confederate flags. The groups of soldiers officially invited to perform at the event are Union, which reflects the historical fact that there were Union camps nearby and that The Falls Church was used as a Union hospital.

As always, we welcome the continuing dialogue about assessing and improving our events and programs.

Susan Finarelli

Director of Communications, City of Falls Church


State’s Confederate Monuments Honor Faithful Virginians


I am not a racist, neo-Nazi or member of any other extremist organization. I am “A Virginian.”

My first ancestor in this country arrived in 1623 at James City County. My parents bought their first house in Falls Church when West Greenway Blvd. was a gravel road, so I have been around here for a long time. I am proud to be a Southerner, am proud to be a Virginian and especially proud of my heritage.

Robert E. Lee did not fight for slavery, he fought for Virginia, as many other Confederate soldiers did. He turned down the offer to command the Union forces because he could not fight against his native Virginians. Should I have lived then, I would have fought for Virginia also. I think the destruction of Civil War monuments is deplorable. I do not know of anyone who ever thought of Robert E. Lee as anything other than a gentleman. The issue of slavery cannot be altered by destroying monuments and changing school and street names. A statue of Columbus was destroyed. To what purpose?

These monuments are a reminder to some of us that regardless of the underlying issue, they were great leaders in their own right, good generals, and faithful Virginians. I was at the main Fairfax Library recently and while in the Virginian Room observed rows of books on Robert E. Lee and other Confederates. What will be the next move of these dissidents? Will they get all of the books of people they don’t like and burn them in the parking lot which would be reminiscent of Nazi Germany?

The aspiring governor for Virginia said he would remove the Confederate monuments when elected. I bet his great grandfather who was from Virginia and fought for the South is turning over in his grave. I can only take this as a sign he is ashamed of his grandfather.

You cannot change history by destroying things from the past.

Joe Dunn

Falls Church


More Should Be Done About Lee Highway Speeders


The traffic I typically see and experience in the short four-mile stretch of road between the intersection of N. Harrison Street and Sycamore Street can be compared to a speedway you visit at any racing event.

My view does not suggest that our police force do more “selective enforcement” as it’s known in the law enforcement world (or at least it was when I was a police officer), or “running radar” for the general populace. Both do an “adequate job” at curtailing drivers that exceed the posted 30-miles-per-hour speed limit signs. The only other mechanism in place is the lone traffic light that slows down the aggressive driver, minus the ones who attempt to “beat the light.” However, each intersection does have traffic cams to catch those who zip through a red light. Of more importance is the traffic in-between the lights that are most concerning to myself and probably most that live here.

So, how do we fix this dilemma? Divert our police force away from higher priorities like thefts, assaults, etc.? Not the wisest decision to make considering the small police force we now have. Isn’t Lee Highway a state owned road — could we seek additional resources to help protect and enforce the traffic on our roads ways? Or is our police force required to maintain the public roadways. Would “speed humps” be necessary like we see in residential areas, or perhaps adding flashing speed limit signs (radar units embedded in the sign itself). I read somewhere that some cities are using solar powered “flashing blues” (simulate police cars) on their streets. How about using the “parking enforcement” folks to conduct selective enforcement (they may not be happy with that come to think about it)?

I’m sure there are numerous ways we can adjust the speed of those drivers who feel it’s necessary to accelerate into “warp” drive through our neighborhood. But I’ll leave that to our appointed government officials here, along with the leadership in law enforcement and emergency services to perhaps consider what I offer — or maybe they know already?

Michael Ness

Via the Internet


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