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Hail and Farewell at Fort Lee Patch

A heartfelt farewell to a great editor and a realization that all roads lead home.

There's a tradition in the military called "hail and farewell"--an event that celebrates arrivals and departures at the same time as a show of continuity in a time of change. And so, I cannot possibly begin my first day as editor of Fort Lee Patch without recognizing the achievements of the editor from whom I am taking the reins.

Over the course of the past two years I have had the opportunity to work with Erik Wander and get to know him. A quiet man of marked achievement, he is a tremendously gifted writer who can report the news in the most balanced and fair way possible. He cared deeply about providing the residents of Fort Lee with a community forum through Patch and he's done a remarkable job building upon, and sustaining, that community.

Fort Lee Patch is Erik's baby--he built it up from the ground by walking door to door, meeting to meeting, event to event, and introducing everyone to a new experiment in community news. The groundwork he laid makes my job easy by comparison.

As I come back to my hometown to report the news and events of Fort Lee I would like to thank everyone who has already extended their warm wishes of welcome to me. I look forward to this new adventure, though I am fully aware of the very large shoes I am stepping into.

I would like you to know that I am always accessible, so if you have a story to share, or a community event you'd like covered, just send me an email (annpiccirillo@yahoo.com) or grab my ear whenever you see me around town.

Erik, I'm not alone in wishing you the greatest luck on your new adventure. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for trusting me with your baby--I hope I make you and the residents of Fort Lee proud.

Ottmar Pak January 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Good luck, Erik. I had the pleasure of meeting you and have enjoyed your work on Patch.com. Thank you! And good luck to you as well, Ann.
Tom Meyers January 18, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Best of luck Erik! You did a fantastic job and we all appreciate your efforts!
Tracy January 18, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Good Luck Erik! I wish you the best of what life has to offer! and welcome back Anne, you are an incredible writer and I hope to read lots of great articles !
Ilyssa Kleinfeld January 18, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Good Luck on your future endeavors. You will be missed! - Ilyssa Kleinfeld
Donna Brennan January 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Erik, my words must echo everyone's in Fort Lee, "you did a great job with the news of our town. Dedicated, hard working, and, in my opinion, you remained insightful right up to the moment when the "baton had to be passed on". Thank you, for again putting our news in such capable hands. Ann Piccirillo, will be a fine editor. Welcome, Ann.....
Donna Brennan January 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM
PS. Let me not forget too wish you, Erik, tons of success in wherever life may take you.
Peter Adler January 18, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Good luck Eric, sorry to see you go.
Peter Adler January 18, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Same for Erik.
Diane Sicheri January 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Erik thank you for helping this community find a place to discuss, share and disagree with each other. Where ever life takes you may you always find happiness and success.
Donna Brennan January 19, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Diane..... So well stated.
William Mays January 19, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Good luck Erik!
Anna January 20, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Erik has been a true professional and his devotion to Fort Lee Patch was a major service to our community. I too wish him much luck and a bright future. At the same time, I can't think of a safer and more qualified pair of hands to take over Fort Lee Patch and take it to higher places than Ann Piccirillo!
Thomas A Bennett January 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Erik, like everyone else, I want to wish you luck and continued success with your future assignments. I appreciate your kindness and fortitude.Your wilingness to hear both sides of the story before commenting is an unusual skill, and I hope you keep it. Good luck. We all know that Ann is also a talented person and will be a great replacement.
Al Norton January 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Best of luck Erik !!
Maxim Almenas January 24, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Erik, you are not only a gifted journalist you are a true gentleman. Thank you for contributions and friendship. Ann, I've admired your writing for years and continue to enjoy your insight and sense of humor. Fort Lee is fortunate to have you. God bless both of you and your families.
Robyn Nadel January 26, 2013 at 04:34 AM
Lots of luck, happiness and success Erik. I thank you so much for the tremendous opportunity you gave me to contribute and help Patch be such an insightful addition to Fort Lee. You will be missed. Take it away Ann!

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