No parade, but we march on together

Like you, Marty Walsh is going to miss this year’s Dot Day Parade. Your mayor and neighbor has been hitting the streets on parade day and the backyard barbeques that follow since he was a kid growing up on Taft Street.

“I’ve marched in the parade pretty much for 30 years consistently, except for 2010. That’s the year my father died," Walsh told the Reporter. “I was always either walking with politicians or people running for office. I loved seeing people on the parade route who left and wished they’d stayed.

“It’s been amazing watching the evolution of having different types and ethnic groups and churches start to participate over the years,” he added.

This year, he intends to “celebrate it a little differently with a social isolation cookout at his home. It’s still Dot Day— and something that we will celebrate in my house. I’ll be cooking on the grill and I won’t have to march five miles,” he said with a laugh. “But you’ll still miss people.”

That’s the approach we’re taking, too, at the Reporter. Today’s special section is intended as a celebration of Dorchester.

The roots of this first-Sunday-in June tradition date back to the first days of the 20th century. It started as a way to observe the arrival of the English Puritans in 1630. Technically, then, this year mark’s Dorchester’s 390th year since “settlement.”

But modern-day Dot Days really aren’t about a colonial-era marker. It’s about celebrating today’s Dorchester in all of its magnificent diversity and maddening complexities.

This special section, we hope, is a reminder that even in the most challenging hours of this most challenging year, we will be back again next year under far better circumstances. Stay strong, Dorchester.

– Bill Forry