YOUR VIEWS | Was City Council AWOL?


To the editor:

In stark contrast to the event we commemorated, Tuesday, April 21 was a beautiful spring day at Market Square; about 100 people of various faiths and backgrounds joined together to pay homage during the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust.

On this 22nd annual commemoration we heard of the grueling experiences of Holocaust survivor Charlene Schiff painful stories that must be remembered in perpetuity to battle those insidious deniers. The important message of never again was delivered eloquently by William Kristol of The Weekly Standard. T.C. Williams High School junior Alex Goldfarb urged todays youth to reject their mode of apathy and learn about the Holocaust to ensure that its crimes never are perpetrated again.
As in past years, this was a poignant ceremony; Alexandria residents, non-residents and elected officials joined in prayer. What was shameful, however, was the void on the stage due to the absolutely noticeable absence of Alexandria City Councilmen Ludwig Gaines, Rob Krupicka, Tim Lovain, Paul Smedberg and Justin Wilson. Krupicka did manage to show up at 12:40 p.m. for the noon event, sitting obscurely beyond the last row of seats. The dais had an embarrassing number of vacant seats reserved for the absent council members. Mayor Bill Euille emceed, passing along the regrets of one former City Council member, and Del Pepper attended, but only long enough for the introductory remarks.

This was not a political event, but when seats on the dais are reserved for the members of the City Council and all but one are absent, it is an affront to the speakers, the organizers and the event itself most of all, it is an affront to the victims being commemorated and their families. For their truancy and their muteness, those members of the City Council should be ashamed of themselves.

Magee Whelan