Sunday, September 11, 2011

As American as Apple Pie

Thinking about 9/11 ten years ago, I'm struck by the awesome spirit of the American people to pull together in fellowship and community. I am especially moved today by this indomitable spirit in the face of the continuous wild fires springing up all over Texas and the floods in the northeast. Whether in the face of natural disasters or terrorists, joblessness or recessions, corruption or hard times, Americans come together and hold strong to their faith in their God, in each other and in liberty for all.

I watched the NYJets/Dallas game tonight at a local establishment. As taps was played in honor of the fallen heros of 9/11, a reverenced hush fell over the crowd. Burly football players choked back tears and the audience here was visibly moved by areal views of New York's Twin Tower Memorial at Ground Zero while Lady Antebellum sang the National Anthem. Afterwards, the crowd cheered on their teams and spirits soared in hope. I thought to myself, truly, this is America--as American as apple pie!

My heart and prayers go out tonight in gratitude to Americans everywhere. God bless.

How did you remember 9/11...please feel free to share your thoughts and stories.

As a side note, I'd like to share an inspiring email on the subject from Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder & CEO of

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is
special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many
people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles
from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought
local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I
hoped they wouldn't bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors
in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to
neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normally
ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each
other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring
people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and
grow local communities?

We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a
crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make
people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months
after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's
working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,
Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of
100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to
neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and
motivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and find
other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace
together. They make friends and form powerful community. It's
powerful stuff.

It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks
to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it
weren't for 9/11.

9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building new
community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started
with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011

1 comment:

Susan Abston Wiley said...

Thanks for always providing the needed focus, 'Zanne! Meetupper CEO Scott Heiferman enforces what we have learned from 9/11: we are a strong, caring, unbeatable nation! Hugs, be safe!