Friday, September 25, 2009

Bottom of the News… Friday, September 25, 2009

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. Today for our news I want to speak to the parents of teenagers. How many have teenagers? So, here is a question… have you read some of their writings lately, like for English, language arts or some other writing class? Well, you may be in for a surprise because the age of the computer, internet, email, Facebook, text messaging and more has changed the way our kids communicate and specifically how they write.

Here are some examples by teenagers, as collected by HS English teachers…

  • She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before he hurls.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  • The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
  • Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  • The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots being fried in hot grease.
  • The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  • The ballerina rose gracefully extending one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  • It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around the house with power tools.
  • He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
  • He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  • McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

Those are classics! And there you have it modern day examples of writings from our teenagers. They are the Bottom of the News on this Friday, September 25th, 2009! ###

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bottom of the News… Friday, September 11, 2009

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. Today, the 8th anniversary of 911, is not a typical bottom of the news day. For many it was a day when their world hit rock bottom. For others it was an event that created a reawaking in America.

It’s hard to believe how quickly the time has passed -- it seems like yesterday -- since we heard those first unbelievable reports that a plane, then another plane, had crashed into both of the World Trade Center towers. For a generation of young people who were not around when President Kennedy was assassinated or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, or when the Challenger exploded… events remembered forever. That 911 day in New York City, Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania -- are pivotal. Their impact will never be forgotten.

So, where were you about two hours from now on Tuesday, Sept 11th? What was your first reaction? What about the people around you?

For me I was in Galena, IL just starting a training meeting with my Midwest directors. While grabbing some breakfast on the run from the lobby I saw a glimpse of a news story about a plane crash somewhere, but kept moving. 15 minutes later my admin called and asked if I had heard about plane crashes around the World Trade towers and my first reaction was “are you kidding?” 5 minutes later she calls back to tell me that in making her regular calls to several of our east coast offices she could not get thru because all phone circuits were overloaded. Something bigger seemed to be unfolding.

The final straw was when one of our directors got a cell phone call from her sister in Manhattan to let her know she was okay. She was frantic and said the US was under attack and that is was chaos in NY City. Upon sharing that news with the 20 people in our group, our meeting was over. We all found a TV and stood in shock as we watched. It was surreal and unbelievable. I soon gathered our group together, prayed with them and then sent them home to be with their families. I am sure you can replay that morning for yourself as well.

911 is an unforgettable moment in history AND should be a reminder to never take our freedom and liberty and some much more for granted. We must be always ready to protect and defend our country and our fellow man. I consider it a duty and responsibility.

Todd Beamer believed this while being held hostage on United Airlines Flight 93. He didn’t stand by, he lived his life ready and that’s how he died taking on three terrorist hijackers, along with his fellow passengers, crashing into a Pennsylvania field.

Todd’s final words were… “Are you guys ready, let’s roll!” Those words will be remembered as those of a husband, a father, a leader, a hero and a true American patriot. September 11, 2001, may we never forget AND may we always be ready. And this is the news on this day, 911, 2009.