Local Commentary

We Are Made For This

Coming onto the Labor Day weekend this year feels quite different.

There’s the way the Covid-19 pandemic reaction has altered everyone’s sense of time. It seems to be relatively universal that people stuck in their homes and without regular routines of interacting with the outside world in time-worn ways can often have a hard time figuring out what day of the week it is. There are other confusions of that sort that can make us wonder what the components of ordinary cognition really are.

But then for Falls Church residents, there is the added disruption caused by the change in the beginning of the school year. This is no comment on whether it is a good idea or not, just that it’s happened. For a lot of us, Labor Day has traditionally represented an emotional transition point, the last day, if not officially, then spiritually, of summer. Gone are the days when TV sets showed weary guests on the annual Labor Day Jerry Lewis telethon stumbling to the finish line while a certain sense of existential loss was identified with the slowly setting sun. Labor Day was the End Of Summer. But on the other hand, the next morning’s readying for the first day of school marked the Rising Of A New Year.

How will it be this coming weekend? It can’t be known for sure until experienced, but we anticipate that it will carry with it a deep sense of gravitas, of a darkened world facing a turning point. With the current disposition in the White House and outside its gates legions assembled to take it on, it is like the entire universe is looking on to see what this fall will bring with the U.S. presidential election in November and what may follow on as a protracted, potentially very ugly battle over the results in the period immediately following.

This weekend may be the right time to take a deep breath and gird for battle. Maybe Henry the Fifth’s battle-eve speech as rendered by Shakespeare needs to resonate from the chambers between our ears, “And gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

Yes, citizens, we are made for this! The Rout of Trump will be the stuff of great lore and every aspect of the process, every new registered voter, every word of encouragement, every new yard sign, every cheer on a midnight couch at the sight of a new Lincoln Project ad, every click on the computer sending another modest contribution, every VOTE, will add to the mass procession swelling to the sounds of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, determined like our forefathers who marched to the same hymn crushing the unspeakably criminal insurgency against our cherished democracy.

May future generations envy that they were not here for this, too