18 Aug.
Mary Rauchenstein
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Where Were You?


It’s almost unfathomable to me that in less than a month we will memorialize 15 years since the attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Like me, I’m sure you remember where you were when the first plane crashed into the first tower; then the second. As the horror unfolded, one thing became quite clear; we were there for each other and our patriotism was unwavering. Our pride for the red, white and blue was not deterred by the horrific actions of a few.

I remember courtesy, compassion and kindness manifesting itself on the road, in the grocery stores and generally any opportunity we had to reach out to others to lend a hand. I also remember tears falling down my face the first time I heard Alan Jackson’s song, “Where Were You” (when the world stopped turning).

We need that same sense of unity, pride and purpose now and it comes from leadership. You’ve heard me say a million times that anyone can lead from where they stand. It’s time for Hillary and Donald to take off the boxing gloves and stop the vitriolic jibes at each other. It’s time for each of them to tell us exactly what they will do to bring us together as the potential leader of the free world and not drive a wedge between us.

We shouldn’t need horrific acts like 911 to remind us that we live in the greatest country in the world. Maybe we do need to be reminded that we have brave men and women who serve, who have served and who’ve lost their lives to fight for our freedom and the rights we often take for granted.

Maybe we need to be reminded that first responders put their lives on the line as part of their job responsibilities and thousands of them are struggling with disease as a result of their heroic efforts on September 11, 2001.

And we definitely need to be reminded on the chance that Donald and Hillary are incapable of getting their proverbial acts together, we can reach out to those who are different from us; listen more than we speak; and make comments like, “tell me more”. When we seek first to understand, I’ll bet we’ll see that what we have in common far outweighs our differences. That’s a cornerstone of a great leader.

Where will you be this September 11 and how will you choose to lead?


Photo courtesy of puttsk@freedigitalphotos.net