Since we last welcomed you into our pages, our nation, and our city, have both celebrated momentous birthdays. Things were a bit different this year, of course; no festivals or fireworks. But America is now another year older, nonetheless. I hope that despite these trying times you and your loved ones found a way to keep your patriotic spirits alive and remember what a beautiful thing it is to live in the land of the free.
We are a young country, it's true. We have so much potential, yet so much to learn. It's a journey that will not be easy, but the path ahead has been forged by men and women who have come before us - many of them courageous enough to lay it all on the line. In the great scheme of things, 75 years is nothing; merely a pinprick on the timeline of the history of the world. But to Americans, the past 75 years have meant everything.
This August, we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII.
In commemoration of this event, our stunning cover depicts one of three military spouses who volunteered themselves (and their husbands) to participate in VIP Alexandria Magazine's The Kiss Project. Recreating the iconic photograph taken in Times Square, when the end of WWII was announced, has been a dream of mine ever since I began working in publishing. It was an honor, to not only meet these heroic women who are all serving on two fronts (as military spouses and as nurses during this pandemic), but to be able to share their stories with Alexandria and beyond.
"In the great scheme of things, 75 years is nothing; merely a pinprick on the timeline of the history of the world. But to Americans, the past 75 years have meant everything."
Speaking of Alexandria, the history of our great city during WWII is nothing short of remarkable. On page 24, you will find the story of The Payne Brothers and the history of The Torpedo Factory. But my favorite story is of the mysterious P.O. Box used during WWII by our very own Fort Hunt. Don't worry! Your journey through time won't end there. This month, we were honored to work with the Defense Credit Union Council and Andrews Federal Credit Union on The Legacy of The Tuskegee Airmen. Their story, on page 34, is a beautiful reminder that every single one of us has the ability and duty to break down barriers- not just for ourselves, but for future generations to come.
In addition to these patriotic stories, you will find that event spreads have finally returned to VIP! None of us know what the near future will bring, but where our fellow Alexandrians gather, VIP will be there to capture every moment! Be sure to email us if you have an event coming up soon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, we round out this exciting issue with a bit of wellness and adventure! Learn how to create the ultimate 'staycation' on page 20, dive into the world of mixology with Your CBD Alexandria on page 12 and learn where to find the best hidden gems of outdoor, local dining on page 16.
Until next time, Alexandria! Stay safe, keep your distance and remember how important it is to Celebrate the American Spirit.
Kellie Gunderman, Owner/Publisher