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A Salute to America’s Greatest Heroes


Perhaps the men of Montclair, N.J. won’t get the march — let along the medals and parade — they deserve. But at least they’re getting some recognition of their extraordinary sacrifice: spending an entire afternoon parenting children alone. In some case involving multiple activities!

Douglass Coyle, an investments director at the Rockefeller Foundation, was one of those husbands left behind in Montclair. He tugged on the coat arms of his 3-year-old daughter, Annabelle, after her dance recital at Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts. His 5-year-old son, Dillon, roamed nearby. Dillon would have to arrive at soccer practice by 11 a.m., and then there was a play date set for the afternoon. Mr. Coyle’s wife, Elizabeth Githens Coyle, was already in Washington.

“Doing everything by myself all day long is not typical,” Mr. Coyle said, not so much complaining as stating a simple logistical fact.

Mr. Coyle’s fate was not atypical in this town. More than 84 percent of Montclair voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton in the November election, and fewer than 11 percent for President Trump, so this was bound to be a fertile ground for participation in the marches. And while the 40,000-resident municipality was not exactly a ghost town on Saturday, there were clearly some stark changes of habit.

Steve Politi, a sports columnist for The Star-Ledger of Newark, missed the Rutgers men’s basketball game on Saturday to stay home with his two children. He did the soccer-game thing, set up play dates (arguably, cheating a bit) and warmed up some leftover pizza for lunch. He also cleaned the refrigerator.

So even though Rutgers earned its first victory in Big Ten Conference play this season, Mr. Politi, a prolific writer, was not there to describe the win.

I did have to laugh at the irony of my wife marching for equality in New York while I was missing the game and cleaning out the refrigerator,” Mr. Politi said.

It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a wife to clean out the damned refrigerator.

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