Local Commentary

Editorial: 5 Proclamations For the Good

At the opening of its first regular business meeting starting the busy time of year Monday night, the Falls Church City Council spent over an hour recognizing five very good causes with special proclamations and greetings to key volunteers.

At the top of the list was a memorial resolution honoring the late Charles R. Langalis, born in 1930 who died last July 4. A long-time City resident and local activist, Charles earned the Central Intelligence Agency’s Career Intelligence Medal for Exceptional Achievements upon retirement from his 35 years with the agency. He was known most here for his tireless volunteerism with a spate of local community groups. The resolution was received Monday by his daughter, Elizabeth.

A proclamation of Childhood Cancer month to “encourage the community to pay tribute to the courage and commitment of the families, friends and professionals who lend their strength to children fighting pediatric cancer and moving us toward new cures, healthier outcomes and a brighter future,” was next, and among those who received the proclamation was the family of former F.C. Mayor Nader Baroukh.

Then came a proclamation declaring September as “Suicide Prevention Month,” which acknowledged that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the second leading among persons aged 10 to 24. For every reported suicide, there are 12 documented cases of attempts at self-harm. The City’s Human Resources Unit provides referrals and the non-profit CrisisLink suicide hotline handles 45,000 calls (800-273-TALK) and texts (by texting CONNECT to 85511) a year in this region. CrisisLink’s Ann Hovan received the proclamation.

A proclamation designating Oct. 8 as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” was next, whose key sponsor, Council member Letty Hardi, noted that this was the City’s first formal recognition of the day since voting to create it a year ago, and that Falls Church remains one of only two cities (Charlottesville being the other) to recognize this day. The proclamation affirms the Council’s opposition to “systematic racism toward indigenous peoples in our country, which perpetuates poverty and income inequality and exacerbates disproportionate health, education and social instability.”

A proclamation declaring each day from Sept. 11 to Oct. 11 as a “Day to Serve” in Falls Church celebrated the robust spirit of volunteerism in the City as “selfless, energetic, creative, passionate and professional.” The City’s Volunteer Queen Barbara Cram received the proclamation.

Finally, there came a recognition of the City as a “Solar Foundation SolSmart Silver” designee for its commitment to the advancement of solar power.

These recognitions and proclamations should give everyone a clue of the generous spirit and commitment to advancing the good that the City’s current leadership, a reflection of its population, represents.