Wednesday, Oct. 15
EDITORIAL: From Nobel Prize to Friday night rites, Loudoun fosters great expectations
The news has a way of revealing certain truths about who we are and how we live. The stories on our front page today reflect those truths. They take place on three fields of achievement in Loudoun County.
One field is the Janelia Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, a pioneering research center where scientists from many disciplines gather to collaborate on some of science’s most challenging problems.
Before he moved to Janelia in 2006, Eric Betzig didn't have a lab. The physicist, inventor, and engineer worked from his Michigan cottage where he did most of his work. Some days he packed it all up and took his boat out on a lake, finding a secluded spot to serve as his workspace.
The tools of his trade, which he says amounted to "a laptop and a couple of really good ideas," packed easily. He unpacked them at Janelia, the hive for geniuses around the world who collaboratively work in labs that equip explorers with any tool necessary for scientific discovery.
The perfect field. Last week, Betzig was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Recognition also came at another field for achievement: the National Conference Center in Leesburg. Women veterans from around the country returned from the battlefield to take the stage at NCC in a competition that expanded the meanings of service and beauty. The Ms. Veteran America competition celebrated the strength and courage of our nation’s military women while reminding us of their sacrifice.
As a military police officer in Iraq, Marissa Strock wore combat boots and military fatigues every day for more than seven months. At the Ms. Veteran America pageant, she donned heals and a dress that revealed metal prosthetic legs. It was almost eight years since Strock lost both her legs after a roadside bomb struck her armored vehicle in Baghdad.
At NCC, twenty-four remarkable women, all military veterans or active service members, showcased what it means to be a woman in uniform. Their primary mission: use proceeds from the event to provide housing for homeless women veterans and their children.
We also explore a third field of achievement today: the football field. Each Friday in the fall, thousands of students, parents, coaches and neighbors come together under the lights at Loudoun high schools to participate in cultural rites that define us as a community.
Nobel Prizes are not won on these Fridays, but that is not why we play, support or cheer. We come together as a show of unity. Whether we win a state championship or struggle to win just one game, our high schools provide the field of dreams for thousands to go forward from Loudoun County to do great things. Wherever the field leads, we are all champions on a few Friday nights in autumn.
Three fields. There are countless more in this extraordinary county. We need only to follow them to achievement.
Wednesday, Oct. 1
EDITORIAL: “Justifiable” shooting can’t justify response to mental illness
Wednesday, Sep. 24
EDITORIAL: Leaders who make age a work of art
Wednesday, Sep. 17
EDITORIAL: It’s what we don’t know that can hurt us
Wednesday, Sep. 10
EDITORIAL: Time to embrace openness and ethics
Wednesday, Sep. 3
EDITORIAL: As school district builds, future turns to learn
Wednesday, Aug. 27
EDITORIAL: Our Ice Bucket Challenge
Wednesday, Aug. 20
EDITORIAL: The courage to think out loud
Wednesday, Aug. 13
EDITORIAL: Dangers of football can’t be ignored
Wednesday, Aug. 6
EDITORIAL: Enforcement, not just education, required in drug fight
Wednesday, Jul. 30
EDITORIAL: The Loudoun we want to be