In the photo above, Katie Reidy and her wife Eryn Reigner turn from Main Street onto Warburton Avenue during the car parade last Friday, May 29, for the staff of Hillside Elementary School in Hastings, where Reigner teaches first grade.
The parade was the second of three held for each of the public schools in Hastings. The purpose of the processions has been to allow educators to reconnect with the community in person after months of online distance learning.
The teacher parades resemble the drive-bys first responders held in recent weeks in Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, and Irvington. For those events, caravans of fire, police, and ambulance vehicles — with their lights flashing and sirens sounding — passed the homes of residents celebrating birthdays.
In coming weeks, there will be car parades for soon-to-be graduates as well. High school students will drive through Dobbs Ferry and Irvington. There will also be processions for elementary and middle school students stepping up in Ardsley.
Recent gatherings had been celebratory until last weekend, when neighbors united following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In response, demonstrations were held in Ardsley, Hastings, and Irvington. More were scheduled for Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, and Irvington.
These demonstrations were far from the first in the Rivertowns, especially since 2016. Though the reasons for them varied in recent years, all were respectful of people and of property. Maintaining that respect is important, especially now.
Whether to celebrate or demonstrate, Rivertowns residents often come together. That need to unite, in a constructive manner, reflects the unique character of these communities.