Thursday, June 01, 2006
"Thank You" is an understatement
On May 30th my girlfriend and I attended the Humphrey Institute's 2006 Public Leadership Awards dinner, http://www.hhh.umn.edu, on the University of Minnesota campus. We sat at a table organized by my friends, Tom and Karen, so we really enjoyed the conversation regardless of the official program. The program itself was interesting since it honored "individuals, organizations, or projects that have made demonstrated contributions to the common good through public leadership and service." The 2006 award recipients included:
former US Senator George Mitchell
former Minnesota Supreme Court chief Justice Kathleen Blatz
Gary Cunningham, CEO of Northpoint Health and Wellness Center
Geri Joseph, former US Ambassador and community leader
All four speakers are clearly leaders in their own right. I must say that I do not share Senator Mitchell's political views but I did find his speech entertaining and since he is no longer serving in the US Senate perhaps I had a sense of comfort that he could not raise my taxes anymore :) But overall I would say that Gary Cunningham is a future leader worth watching so I hope my free market friends are nurturing his thinking to leverage his talent for improving the lives of our fellow citizens.
Now this dinner event was held on May 30th just a day after Memorial Day so upon reflection I can't help but think this would have been an ideal opportunity to recognize the contributions, public service, and sacrifices of the nation's veterans who guard our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness -- freedoms that allow us to enjoy public assemblies such as the Humphrey Institute's dinner event.
My grandfather, three uncles, and several fraternity brothers have served in the US Armed Forces so let me thank all of them for their service in what is unfortunately a necessary role of government given the tribal mentality of most nation-states as they compete for power, markets, and resources. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (USA) and 138 years later we are still producing military veterans so we have work left to be done.
Merci, gracias, mange tak, grazie, danke to all veterans,