Reflections of a Noteworthy Night

A week ago today we celebrated twelve phenomenal individuals and their contributions to the City of Alexandria. Friends and family came together to celebrate those who contribute their lives for the well being of others. There is one significance to LLA however that makes us unique in our purpose. I want to share a quote by Legend David Speck who explains this so well:

When us “LL’s” gather the first thing we say, with a big smile, is thank goodness this is an award that begins with the word, “Living!” But beyond the good news that we can say that is the very essence of why this recognition has so much significance…to the awardee and to the community.  It is way too often that we wait until someone is no longer here to acknowledge contributions, and as nice as some eulogies are, that only speak to what someone has done and not what someone is doing. What is obvious about the Living Legends is that their work doesn’t stop when the plaque is presented.  Not only does it seem to create even more opportunities to help those in need, to solve problems, and to fill voids, but it spurs others to do so, as well. That is the greatest gift that Nina Tisara started and others are carrying on—to ensure that our community—our living, breathing, caring, helping community is always part of who we are.

I am honored to be a Living Legend, but I am truly humbled to share that recognition with so many others whom I admire and respect.

–David Speck

Living Legends of Alexandria works not just to recognize the work others have done for the City and the impact these actions have had on its citizens and surrounding communities. Our goal and hope is to record the story behind the work, to add a little soul to the sometimes overwhelmingly factual flood that history brings us.

This makes me think of my family. I come from a family of cooks. Nothing fancy, just good home cooking with recipes that were brought down multiple generations or became family favorites that frequented the table. My grandmother was queen of the spoken recipe. Two of my favorites are her caesar salad (with anchovies) and tomato meat sauce. Luckily, these two recipes live on but after my grandmother passed several years ago, our family lost a wealth of history and recipes. We lost our chance to record in writing the soul of her cooking and a cook book that would rival Martha Stewart.

Celebrating those that are still living gives us the opportunity to learn more about the legend. What were their struggles, their goals, emotions and decisions that led them down the road? These details are often missed in the history books but as David put it it, learning more about the work of our Living Legends encourages others to follow their example.

So as 2016 moves on, do you know someone who exemplifies this story? Nominate them!