ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — When asked what it’s like to be 100 years old, Nancy Millard said, “I haven’t found out yet.” She had just reached that milestone June 4.
She was born June 4, 1920, and today, 100 years later, the world is a very different place.
Her family affectionately calls her “Mugga,” which dates back to her first grandchild being unable to say grandma.
Right around 5 p.m. on her 100th birthday, her usually quiet neighborhood in Arlington was shaken up by loud sirens and flashing lights. A caravan of vehicles blaring sirens, tooting horns and shouting greetings snaked down the street for several blocks.
The parade of sorts was led by two Arlington County Police officers on motorcycles followed by countless police vehicles, Arlington County Fire Department engines, sheriffs’ vehicles and several private cars and trucks, one sporting an inflatable unicorn on its roof.
With racial tensions running high after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis coupled with the months-long pandemic quarantine, neighbors first emerged from their homes with concerned looks at the hefty police presence.
Within minutes, signs from the cars saying, “Happy Birthday Nancy” and “100 years of fabulous,” quickly lightened the mood and became a welcome diversion. Neighbors whipped out cellphones to take photos and videos of the celebration. Many waved back to the first responders who appeared to enjoy the opportunity to engage with the community.
Millard lives just blocks from her parish church, St. Agnes. Until the coronavirus pandemic, she had been attending Mass. Now Communion is brought to her.
Surrounded by family, including her son Chip and her grandson Mark, Millard sat on a chair by the curb in front of her house holding a huge bouquet of flowers. She waved to the cars and seemed to marvel at the spectacle.
She said the parade was “unbelievable” and “wonderful.”
But she quickly quipped, “I’m wondering who’s gonna get the bill.”
Augherton is acting editor of the Arlington Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Arlington.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103