Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Making a Difference

Have you ever heard of Stephen Siller? Stephen Siller was a NY firefighter who had gotten off working an all night shift the morning of Sept 11, 2001. He was about to go play golf with his brothers on Staten Island when the call came in about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center Tower. By the the time he made it to his station house in Brooklyn, the trucks had all left for the towers. But Siller would not be deterred from trying to rescue people. He put his gear on and tried to drive to the towers. Traffic was stopped at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. So e got out of his car and ran through the tunnel to get to the World Trade Center. A distance of about 3.1 miles. He was last seen alive on the street near the entrance to the North Tower. In his honor, his family and friends organized the first run in September 2002. A few hundred people ran that first year. Some of the runners were men that had worked with Siller. They ran the route in full gear. In the 10 years since the race has grown to almost 30,000 runners.

There were cadets from West Point running with 70 lb packs to simulate the full gear other fire fighters were wearing. There were wounded warriors in wheelchairs and other running on artificial legs. It was truly amazing to watch. This year 31 similar races were run in 21 states. It has raised millions of dollars for charities for children and wounded warriors. They have even partnered with NASCAR to raise more even more money to raise funds to build retro houses for wounded warriors. You may be wondering why I am writing about this. Well, the reason is that this was all started by a bunch of friends sitting around a kitchen table after a tragedy. They all worked together to affect change. When people work together great ting can be accomplished.

If we really want to change the way things are done in government, we need to start working together. The longer we play the standoff game, the less is getting done. I realize that the ideology says no but while we continue to hold our respective grounds the country is getting into deeper and deeper problems. Face it NO ONE side is blameless on this. But if we can’t figure this out we are going to look like Greece. So which is better, holding your ground at all cost or finding a solution together?