“Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” ~ Todd Beamer
This weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the day America was attacked by Islamic extremist terrorists. It was a day that will live forever in our hearts as a day of tragedy, a day of sacrifice and a day America lost much of her innocence.
America has long stood as a nation whose citizenry has been tempered by adversity and ability to rise up to meet that adversity head on and overcome insurmountable challenges and threats. It seems every generation of Americans has faced challenges of their own. Our founding generation faced a tyrant King who sought to reap the great rewards of our rich land without affording our citizenry the rights and representation they deserved. Against incredible odds, a rag-tag band of untrained militia stood to face the world’s greatest military. General Washington was deep into a disastrous war before seeing his first victory at Trenton. For the next 4 years the Colonial forces suffered one defeat after another and when it looked like all was lost, Colonel Daniel Morgan rose up to crush the British Army at the Cowpens. The Southern army would give the British another crushing loss at Guilford Courthouse to enable victory at Yorktown. America had risen to overcome adversity and establish its greatness in the world.
After generations faced westward expansion, financials crisis, and an enormous lack of infrastructure, we took on slavery and the divide over state’s rights. The result was a bloodied but still barely intact nation that set about the business of rebuilding and healing itself.
Over 300,000 U.S. doughboys gave the ultimate sacrifice to liberate Britain and France from the grasp of Kaiser Wilhelm. Only a generation later, Emperor Hirohito of Japan would “awaken a sleeping giant” and once again the American citizens would rise to the challenge. This was a citizenry hardened by the great depression and their resolve was relentless as they crushed the Nazi regime in Europe and the Japanese Empire in the Pacific.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer and his unknown fellow citizens were called upon to give their ultimate sacrifices and answer the call of American resolve and greatness. Todd Beamer’s words may be a simple statement, uttered without thought of how they would become a part of our lexicon or of how they truly summarize what it is to be an American. These six simple words describe in glaring detail, the American character that has sustained us since our humble beginnings and I believe will continue to sustain us long into the future. We are America. We will handle whatever the world throws our way. We will come out on the other side, victorious.
Today, a decade after 9/11, we face challenges of tremendous enormity. Our enemies are relentless, both without and within. We have lost so much of our character and resolve and we suffer from an incredible lack of leadership. Or do we? Have we really lost our character and resolve, or is it just lying dormant, waiting once again for the world to awaken the sleeping giant? Is there really a lack of leadership in America or has it just not risen to the top to lead us once more to prosperity, greatness and victory? The answer to these questions lies within each of us.
Todd Beamer’s final words are much more than just words, they represent a compass point to a nation, they represent our true north, and they represent who we are. These words remind us that we are Americans and we can do this. In our personal lives, in our professional lives and as a nation as a whole, we can do this. We can face the challenges of the world and come out victorious. We can and will accomplish that which is necessary.
I know I have deviated from my normal weekly message in order to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. But my message is always the same, and that is to help others grow. I believe on this occasion, Todd Beamer’s words are more than adequate to help us grow and to remind of who we are and what we can accomplish. Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!
Monty Rainey is a District Manager with over 14 years in the self storage industry currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .
- Worth Remembering (lauriesnowturner.com)