Thomas Friedman’s column “Where Did ‘We’ Go?” is the most earnest appeal to classic civic virtue (and common sense) I’ve have read all year. I quoted the essence of the article below:
There is no more “we” in American politics at a time when “we” have these huge problems — the deficit, the recession, health care, climate change and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — that “we” can only manage, let alone fix, if there is a collective “we” at work.
Your correspondent sympathizes with Mr. Friedman’s sentiments and occasionally despairs, but when I see the sense of community that Alexandrians have I have to disagree. I’ve heard about individuals starting their own community gardens, those who independently retrofit their homes (at a significant personal expense), those who stubbornly refuse to purchase a car and ride public transit like it’s their job, and has witnessed my fellow commissioners dedicate countless hours to the betterment of our community, nation, and ultimately, world.
Maybe there is no “we” at the national level, but there is a “we” here. Don’t believe me? Volunteer Alexandria is sponsoring a clean-up of Douglas Cemetary on Friday, October 2 from 12:30-2:30. If you’re free, come help out.
Douglas Cemetery (adjacent to Alexandria National Cemetery) was named after
noted abolitionist, newspaperman, and political activist Frederick Douglass. When it was established in 1896, it was one of the first Black American cemeteries in Alexandria. According to Volunteer Alexandria, volunteers “will be pulling weeds, trimming grass around headstones and laying gravel to enhance the walkway.”
Not only will this activity enable you to help the environment, participation will manifest your pride in Alexandria and our nation.