Join us on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. Twin Lakes State Park will be throwing a Valentine card making party to decorate and dedicate some Valentine greetings to our homebound soldiers with the help ofTheWounded Warriors Project.
What were you doing on January 2nd? To most it was just the second day of a new year. The holidays are finally over and they can stop for the first time in months and catch their breath. But for romantics everywhere it is only the beginning. The beginning of the countdown to the one day every year where it’s completely okay to wear pink head to toe, to dot your i's with little hearts and to shower your special someone with love, affection, and the occasional piece of jewelry. That’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day. But underneath all the cupid shaped cookies and heart shaped chocolates, do you know the roots of this love filled holiday?
A 1919 Valentine depicting a soldier and a nurse (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
It began with Valentine; a humble and romantic priest who disagreed with Claudius and decided to go against the mighty emperor’s orders banning marriage. Young lovers from all over the empire came to Valentine for help, and in secret ceremonies he would declare them married. With so many coming to seek his aid he was soon discovered and thrown into jail for crimes against the empire. On February 14th in 270BC, the day of his execution, he is said to have passed a farewell message to his jailer Asterius, for Valentine had fallen deeply in love with Asterius' daughter. The message was short and sweet; it simply read "From Your Valentine". Every year on that day, to honor the man thereafter known as Saint Valentine and his unyielding courage and sacrifice, lovers all across the empire scrawled hand written greetings of affection to each other. These messages would become infamously known as 'Valentines'.
This 1919 Valentine's Day card may have been sent to someone's sweetie overseas (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Just like Saint Valentine, brave men and women stand firm in the front lines of America’s own battle against hate and protect our basic' everyday freedoms that many of us take for granted. Did you know that, as of the New Year, at least 1,800 soldiers have returned from war with physical injuries. That number doesn't even include those who returned with psychological injuries. All injuries they acquired defending our right to send our best friend the most annoying singing candy gram you could find in the middle of their 4th block English, or to embarrass our significant other by sending them an obnoxiously huge bouquet of roses at their office. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to give a little love back to those brave men and women. That’s why this year ‘Valentines for Soldiers’ program.
This 1919 Valentine's Day card depicts a serviceman and his best friend (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
On Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. the park will be throwing a Valentines making party to decorate and dedicate some Valentine greetings to our homebound soldiers with the help of TheWounded Warriors Project, a support and assistance program for soldiers that have returned home who were or have become injured, and need other support whether it is mentally, physically, or financially.
These are just a few of the 800 valentines greeting sent to soldiers on Valentine's Day 2012.
Last year Valentines for Soldiers made over 800 Valentine’s greetings; that’s 800 smiles on the faces of our country’s bravest men and women!
Please join us at the concession stand at ‘Valentines for Soldiers’ program, don’t fret for there is a way: Simply decorate some Valentine cards on your own or with your group or club and either send them to or drop them by the park office before Sunday, February 10, 2013 and we will include your greetings in our care package.
For more information on how you can help give back to these outstanding men and women on this special day of hearts, call the park office at 434-392-3435 or email.
Twin Lakes State Park is located near Farmville, Virginia about an hour southwest of Richmond. To get there, take U.S. 360 West of Burkeville to Route 613. Then go east on Route 629.
Drive Time:Northern Virginia, three to four hours; Richmond, one to one and a half hours; Tidewater/ Norfolk/ Virginia Beach, two and a half to three hours; Roanoke, three hours.