FALLS CHURCH, Va. - For the last 50 years, the corner of Broad and Spring Streets has been one of the safest in Falls Church. Partly, some would say, because it’s being watched over by a statue of the Virgin Mary on the grounds of St. James Catholic School.
But mostly, it’s due to the hard work and dedication of 91 year-old crossing guard Janet Haines.
Haines began her work 50 years ago – making sure the students of St. James were kept out of harm’s way as they crossed the busy intersection to make it to school on time.
On Wednesday, students, parents, and Falls Church officials honored her with a special ceremony to acknowledge her years of commitment.
"She is truly an inspiration," said her daughter, who was there to honor her mother along with other family members.
"You want to know what the fountain of youth is? Well here it is!," said her son. "Get up - be a crossing guard - start when you’re 41 - and keep going!"
"We know, through our faith, that humility and grace is through service. And here you have somebody that has given you 50 years of service,” said an officer honoring Janet at Wednesday’s ceremony. “She’s created a culture within this community, particularly at St. James, of safety!"