June 15th, 2008
The time between this column and the last one posted here is the longest time between columns in the more than two year life of this blog. The reason is very simple. My father-in-law died a week ago and I have been mourning the passing of not only a man I loved, but an American Hero.
For those of you who come here for future oriented commentary on what is going on in the world, this will be a departure. However as we are now entering a new age that seems filled with upheaval and yet provides an opportunity for human transformation, I submit that taking a look at a life lived by a man who had a strong moral compass, deep compassion, a profound love of this country and a fierce commitment to excellence, might well serve as a sign post for all of us as we face our future.
The most succinct way to introduce him is through his own words. My father-in-law had achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor a Boy Scout could attain, at the early age of 16. When my son also reached this milestone by his 18th birthday he realized that he needed to invite an Eagle Scout to initiate him into this rank of honor. My son asked me if â€œThe Generalâ€ as he referred to my father-in-law, might be willing to stand up for him at the Eagle Scout induction ceremony. He asked me this because he was nervous to ask …
April 2nd, 2008
This thought came to me while standing on Omaha Beach, one of the American landing beaches on D-Day. I think about the future and it is clear to me that humanity will need to find greatness to face some of the issues it faces now and in the next decade. We need to rise up to a level of commitment, collaboration, will and innovation that seems far from universal today. There is no question but that we can and that we will need to do so. The question is how we rise up to this level of greatness.
Standing on Omaha Beach, and later the same day on Utah Beach I was struck by the magnitude of D-Day. The heroism, valor, loss of life, and incredible stories of individual and collective victory are usually what comes to mind when thinking of this invasion. Those thoughts usually are of the soldiers, but there were larger forces at work. Things were done that had never been done before. Plans were created based on no prior human experience. Let me give you just one example.
The Nazi military command built unprecedented fortifications on the …