I found this email I wrote to my employees the day after the 9/11 attacks. I thought I’d finally share it with the world and make this the first post on The World Through My Eyes.
Many of you know I am in the process of driving back home to Los Angeles. It is giving me a great deal of time to think.
I spent most of the day yesterday without any visual images of what I was hearing on the radio. The tranquility of what I saw out the window was in stark contrast to what was being scene being described on the radio. Not until I stopped driving last night in Springfield, MO did I have an opportunity to watch the video recount of yesterdays atrocities.
The irony of yesterday for me personally was that I learned about the attacks while proclaiming my commitment to our company’s vision and values with our employees in Cleveland. It is ironic, because in proclaiming my commitment to protect the relationships that are our source of power here, to supporting without hesitation our vision and our values, I set the stage for my thoughts for the rest of the day in listening to the radio reports as I drove across our beautiful country.
I am left thinking that this attack will rekindle the flames of commitment to our country’s unique vision and values.
Our forefathers proclaimed the vision clearly: To form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
This vision has been our vision, unwavering, for more than 200 years. All of our leaders, from George Washington to George Bush, have held steadfast to this vision, and we will continue to hold steadfast.
And we have been led by our values. Our bill of rights. We have decided that we will achieve our vision by following a very specific road. Rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms, these values have guided the making of every law ever written in our country’s history. And these values are worth fighting for, no matter what power opposes them. These values must stand at all costs.
Today, we need to commit ourselves once again to the calling of that higher vision and these higher values. Today we need to grieve, yes, but we also need to make sure that the rest of the world sees how strong we are. We need to make sure we support the systems that uphold our way of life and get back to life as we knew it with a new understanding of our place in this world and a renewed commitment to the vision and values that have carried our nation from its birth to this day.
Today I awoke to a glorious sunrise over the Ozarks and I felt compelled to delay the drive and to write again. It is a new day in America. Let’s hold our heads high and make sure the world knows that we are stronger now than ever.