Valentines are everywhere: In the stores, in the mail, in the schools and in the personals. So who needs more?

How about D.C.?

Beyond embarrassing scandals, crime and needs -- as important as they are -- the District of Columbia is also a great town, and our home. On this day before Valentine's Day, Washington is a city that deserves a bouquet And our readers have sent one.

I have traveled far and wide

You name it, I've been there.

But the place that's foremost in my heart

Is right here (you know where.)

'Twas Freedmen's Hospital I was born in

Then public schools -- Dunbar, Francis and Morgan

I married a man who was born and died here

We had three kids that I still hold dear

I guess I say all of this to show

In case you or others may not know --

I love D.C.!!!

Arlene Holiday

Michigan Park

I love Washington in the fall when the leaves of the gingko trees on 27th Street NW turn a brilliant yellow. When the leaves begin to fall from the branches, the street is soon covered with a carpet of them, and I think to myself, "In Washington, some streets really are paved with gold."

Brian Haave

Georgetown

Once upon a summer baseball diamond, I met my husband Keith, our team's first baseman. This was on the Ellipse, where you can't park on the circle anymore. But forever always, we'll be able to walk our daughter Elsa to the spot of green grass where her mommy and daddy played ball. That's why I love DC. That little patch will always be there for us.

Cathy Trybul Sontheimer

Falls Church

Now that I have moved away from D.C., I miss long walks through neighborhoods, parks and unique areas that other cities would kill for. I miss the trees, the flowers, the row houses and monumental buildings. I miss Metro and friendly locals who actually love their hometown even if they don't always say so. I contracted Potomac Fever years ago, and I hope I never recover.

Michael La Place

Princeton, N.J.

A Valentine for D.C.:

A clean, quiet Metro system that is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible; affordable theater; free museums; bike paths that soon will stretch over three states; a mayor who looks good in bow ties; cherry blossoms.

Eat your heart out, New York.

Wendy R. Leibowitz

Foggy Bottom

A Happy Valentine's Day to Washington, D.C., a city where you can find love and see it blossom like a cherry tree.

John Comerford

Brooklyn, N Y.

Happy Valentine's Day, Washington.

How do I love thee?

For all your citizens --

All 572,059 at last count --

You are the powerful

You are the humble

You are every color

You are every race

You are every nationality

To ever grace our globe.

You are to me vitality.

The very essence of the idea of America.

Lynne Boyle

Capitol Hill

I moved to Washington from Atlanta almost six years ago. For the first few years, I took a Metrobus from Alexandria to 18th St. NW downtown. Every day, as the bus crossed the 14th Street bridge, I saw the city's monuments unfold before me -- the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museum, the Washington Monument. Every day I smiled to myself and thought how lucky I was. Today, I don't take that same bus anymore, but I still feel the same way, particularly when I'm crossing the bridges into the city. I still smile to myself and think how lucky I am to be in the nation's capital.

Shannon Fortenberry

Alexandria

This holiday season I arranged blue spruce boughs and berry branches in a ceramic pot on my stoop. During the recent cold spell, my outdoor arrangement became a feeding station for a flock of robins. They quickly denuded all the branches of their red berries. Every winter since I have lived in Georgetown, the robins flock from berry bush to crab apple tree in search of food. I love that about D.C.: the places and moments that make me forget momentarily that I am in the midst of a city.

Lisbeth Fuisz

Georgetown