United in LOVE

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Last week Farmville joined nations around the world to display support for the people of Paris.

Farmville’s “LOVE” sign on Main Street, part of the “LOVEworks Around Virginia” tourism campaign, is now aglow with the blue, white and red of the French flag. It joins other historic landmarks: New York’s World Trade Center, London’s Tower Bridge, and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil.

It is fitting that we offer our support. The world responded in kind after the Sept. 11 attacks brought terrorism home in 2001. In the days following 9/11, the “Star-Spangled Banner” played during the Changing of the Guard at London’s Buckingham Palace, and trams and buses halted in tribute in Sweden, Norway and Finland. In Russia, television and radio stations went silent to honor innocent victims of terrorism in America.

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Local families of 9/11 victims also appreciated the overwhelming support from around the world. Worldwide concern brought comfort to Gene and Joann Lewis, of Farmville, whose son and daughter-in-law, Kenny and Jennifer Lewis, were flight attendants on Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.

“The cards and support have meant so much,” Mrs. Lewis said in a Sept. 19, 2001, front-page story in The Farmville Herald.

An array of floral arrangements, many with patriotic themes, filled the Lewis home.

“You have given the people of Farmville an outlet for their sense of loss,” Cathy Lombana said of the Lewis family in the Herald report.

Following 9/11 France responded to America’s terrorist tragedy with this headline in Le Monde: “We Are All Americans.”

Now in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, towns and cities across America are reciprocating. Farmville’s sign on Main Street says it well in blue, white and red. Without doubt, “LOVE” sends a message that needs no translation.