For hundreds of years the land along the river has been a gathering place where people of diverse ethnic, cultural, and national backgrounds came together for commerce, recreation, and celebration. This is the essence of Vancouver. Since taking possession of Fort Vancouver from the Army, the National Park Service has made at least three misguided decisions. First they turned away the soccer players; then they shut out a church picnic because, as everybody knows, when church people throw a party they get really loud; and finally, they turned their back on 100 years of civilian and military aviation by closing the Pearson Air Museum.
The National ParksService has turned the fort into a gated community where large groups of people from the community who were once welcome are now turned away. The robust spirit of Vancouver is alive and well in the people of Vancouver who enjoy buying elephant ears in the park, playing outdoors in the sun or the rain, celebrating the joy of living in a free land with picnics and fireworks. Many of the people who used to gather at the land along the river do not go there anymore; the fun is gone, and the noisy celebrations are silenced.
The spirit of Vancouver is fading into the past.