Mayor Rich Walker
Mayor Rich Walker

A Message from Mayor Rich Walker

While September arrives with the onset of Fall, never too noticeable with south Florida weather, we welcome the hustle and bustle of back-to-school events, open houses, evening football games, and the prospect of some cooler temperatures.

I hope the first few weeks of school have been a smooth transition for all. I cannot thank our teachers, administrators, and staff enough. Parkland is so lucky to have a plethora of dedicated educators committed to teaching our children and helping them grow not only as students but as the future of our community. As we continue to navigate the unknown territories of the pandemic, we appreciate everyone’s cooperation and optimism. Together we will get through this difficult time.  

Labor Day is a significant federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September, culminating the end of the long Labor Day weekend filled with barbecues, parades, and beachside festivities. A tribute to all American workers, Labor Day, recognizes the significant contribution of organized labor and the individual rights of all workers.

September also highlights two high holidays within the Jewish faith, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Happy New year and G’Mar Tov to the many members of our community who honor and celebrate these occasions.

On a reflective note, this month marks 20 years since the September 11 attacks in 2001. It is still difficult to believe two decades later, but 2,977 people were killed [according to encyclopedia Britannica], with many thousands more injured and suffering long-term side effects to this day.

At the World Trade Center in New York, 2,753 people died, including 343 firefighters and 60 New York Police Officers, and Port Authority Officers.  At the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, 184 people died, and 40 people died outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  

These represent not only the worst terrorist attack in world history but also the deadliest incident ever for firefighters and law enforcement officers in our nation’s history. Understanding that behind each one of these human statistics is a family and a circle of friends that continue to grieve is why those of us who were of age on that fateful day remember exactly where we were.

We also recall the powerful way our country unified in the aftermath. There is perhaps no greater example in modern American history that more clearly demonstrates that core thread of how much we can accomplish once we set aside our differences, embrace what we have in common, and put our minds to progress.

One of the ways we see that in our everyday lives is through the bravery exemplified by our first responders. These men and women are a true testament to what it means to be a hero. I appreciate their selfless efforts daily as they always demonstrate their willingness to serve for the betterment of our community.

If you would like to share your thoughts about public service, or any other topic, I would love to hear from you. I can always be reached via e-mail at rwalker@cityofparkland.org or via cell phone at (973) 390-1453.  I am frequently available monthly at Parkland businesses and love to speak with residents there. I encourage you to visit the City’s website cityofparkland.org and click on the social media icon you prefer so you can follow us to stay informed on events and helpful information.  

Rich Walker
City of Parkland, Florida

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