There are, unfortunately, very few things that we can still point to as “normal” these days. Among the most obvious of these, in my opinion, is the absence of the highly anticipatory, and sometime anxiety laden, back-to-school period during those four to six weeks when summer approaches its end.
I can vividly remember, with great fondness, the excited anticipation of getting ready for the new school year. All of the kids in the neighborhood would gather in little groups and chat about nothing in particular. It was just our way of relieving the pressure of a new grade, a new teacher, and maybe some new classmates. I don’t think things changed much over the course of years during that short but exhilarating back-to-school season.
That was not the case this year, of course. While some schools are providing in-person instruction, others are not, and still others are using some hybrid of the two. The uncertainty that marked this summer essentially diminished the back-to-school excitement that we all looked forward to. The pandemic has certainly altered, delayed, or transformed many of the traditions that we have celebrated from year to year.
There are, however, several September traditions that we will keep, even if we manifest them in slightly different ways. Every September we celebrate Labor Day with cookouts and relaxation, and while this year we will confine our cookouts and relaxation to our backyards with our families, we will still enjoy the day set aside for working people everywhere.
During this month we also remember the men, women, and children we lost on 9/11. Our remembrances of that tragic day will be subdued as well, although the memory of these innocent victims, along with the brave men and women first responders, will nevertheless burn brightly in our hearts.
September also provides us an opportunity to celebrate Police Week, when we set aside time to honor our police officers and thank them for their courage, bravery, and service to our residents. Some residents have championed the idea of “Light our Town Blue” to publicly proclaim their admiration for our police officers. Some residents will place blue bulbs in their outdoor fixtures in support of the campaign. The school district is also planning on adding a blue tinge to some of their more prominent lights.
The Town, at the request of a number of residents, will participate by lighting the Town Hall cupola and the entry monument sign on Preston Road with blue lights. We are a very fortunate community in many ways, but most especially because our police officers truly take our Town motto to heart – our police officers know that Prosper is a place where everyone matters, and they live that motto every day.
In addition to the September observance of Police Week, we will also be celebrating Fire Prevention Month in October, highlighting the work of our firefighter/paramedics. Prosper’s first responders are a critically important part of our commitment to serve and protect, and we are tremendously proud of the men and women who fill the ranks of the Fire and Police Departments.
By Mayor Ray Smith