From ancient fertility rituals to martyred priests to candy hearts and rom-coms, Valentine’s Day has evolved.
For some people, the holiday brings memories of paper hearts and cupids, while others refuse to celebrate anything on February 14.
Some people buy their significant other jewelry, flowers or a fancy dinner, and some celebrate their love for their children, grandchildren or parents with a simple trip for ice cream.
We asked some local community leaders what Valentine’s Day means to them.
“For me, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show the people in my life who I really care about that I love them. It makes me feel so grateful for the relationships I have!”
– Arlington Mayor Jim Ross
“A day to celebrate with the one you love!”
David Cook, Texas State Representative, District 96
“Valentine’s Day to me serves a reminder that every day I get to love and be loved by Carla, my wife of 35 years. She is my best friend, my true love, and she makes me the best version of myself.”
Juan Fresquez Jr., President of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center
“To me Valentine’s Day is the day to be reminded that my greatest gift from God besides my salvation is my wife Lisa. God blessed me with the love of my life during our senior year in high school in 1984 and every day I have with her is sweeter than the day before. So I celebrate my relationship with my wife Lisa on that day.”
– Michael A. Evans Sr., Mayor of Mansfield
“For me, Valentine’s Day brings back great memories from elementary school, decorating a shoe box, trading Valentine’s Day cards and a party at school. It was fun when our kids were doing the same. Kerry and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in our early relationship, she still has a crystal heart jewelry box I gave her with flowers when we were dating nearly 40 years ago. Love is every day of the year. Now we try to grab dinner and just make a few extra minutes for each other in our busy lives.”
Raul Gonzalez, Arlington City Council member, District 2
“Valentine’s is always a fun way to celebrate love! Love for your significant other, love for your friends and family, just more love celebrated out in the world. I find the day especially wonderful – my eldest was born on Valentine’s, so our family has an extra special celebration for our love bug!”
Valerie Landry, General Manager of
The Sanford House
“The thrill of getting your Valentines at school and hoping that special card would come from the cute boy on the second row, but it did not! Later you have a special man who brings a big box of Millionaires every year to you and the kids. Perfection!”
Geraldine Mills, Executive Director of the Arlington Historical Society