CEO Message: Thoughts on 9/11, 2015
Ask anyone age 20 or older where they were on 9/11, and they will probably be able to tell you not only where they were, but who they were with and what they did following the news. Fourteen years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, those moments are still vivid in our minds — and probably always will be. Like the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the assassination of President Kennedy, 9/11 is a galvanizing moment — profoundly shared across our entire culture in a unique and world-shaping way.
Many of the children entering middle school this year were born after 9/11. Most college freshmen are too young to remember it clearly or personally. When called on to explain the meaning of 9/11 to younger generations — to our children’s children — what will we tell them? Why is it important? What have we learned?
I hope that what we have learned in the years following 9/11 is the meaning of the word “indivisible.” That we cannot be divided. That on that terrible day we discovered a great river of shared pride in our country that doesn’t belong to the left or the right, but to all of us. That we discovered the importance of the flag and what it stands for: one nation that cannot be divided by hatred or terrorism.
I hope that when we talk about 9/11 to our children’s children, we will speak about realizing that the attack was not just on one country, but on the human family. That terrorism has no place in our world, from any quarter. That those things that connect us are stronger than those persons who wrongfully seek to divide us.
And as we reflect on those whose lives were lost on 9/11, and the human cost of responding to the resulting crisis over the last 14 years, I hope we will have learned — and will teach our children — that we don’t need a crisis to come together as a people. That the strengths we share with one another are what we need to create great communities, deepen understanding, search for solutions to our most difficult problems — and become the nation and people we are capable of being.
About The Author
Bill Robertson has served as MultiCare's President and CEO since May 2014. He came from Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prior to Adventist, Robertson served as CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City, Kansas. More stories by this author