Inside1

From left, Sophia, Ashley, Karen and Oscar Alvarez work together on a mural along the fence of their Harrisonburg home Monday.

Try as we might on this Forum page, we couldn't come up with a better way to stay "thank you" to first responders and more than the mural Oscar Alvarez and his family painted in Harrisonburg near the corner of Washington and Vine streets.

"They're heroes," the 43-year-old Harrisonburg resident said. "We see them every day on TV. We have to give thanks to them."

It's all right there, painted on the brown fence: "Thanks" to the police department, the firefighters, the U.S. Postal Service, nurses, doctors and more.

Try as we might, we couldn't come up with a more solemn way to say thank you to the employees at Sentara RMH than the people who park their cars in lot B every Sunday night, turn off their engines and quietly flash their hazards toward the medical center.

As the sun sets, the scene becomes striking -- flickering lights with occupants sitting in the dark, some praying.

"There's fear and anxiety, there's a sense of fear in there. I know I would be if I were working there," said Wes Walls, who's been to every Sunday gathering in the lot. "So, we blink our lights in unity to let them know we appreciate them, we're with them."

These two actions are simple, yet they can mean the world to those on the front lines of this COVID-19 fight.

And, try as we might, no words we can write here will match those actions.

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