September 11th

Naperville's 911 Shanower Memorial
Naperville’s 911 Shanower Memorial contains rubble from the Pentagon, granite from Pennsylvania near the Flight 93 crash site, and a girder from the WTC towers.

I attended this year’s 9/11 Memorial as a volunteer member of Naperville’s Emergency Management Agency. The event was a moving show of patriotism, civic pride, and gratitude toward those who serve, sometimes at the cost of their lives. What makes someone ignore that powerful sense of self-preservation to rush to aid of others? I don’t know, but thank the good Lord there are such men and women among us.

Of those in attendance at this year’s memorial were Naperville natives, Dr. Tom Shanower, brother of Cmdr. Daniel Shanower, who lost his life at the Pentagon, and after whom our memorial is named, along with their mother Pat. The takeaway quote for the entire event comes from Mrs. Shanower. When asked what she hopes for future generations, she said:

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Susan M. Williams, R.I.P.

susieFOB Jack, and his two children Rob and Katie, lost the love of their lives to cancer this past week.

I could spill galaxies of electrons here about how special Susie is, and how much she will be missed, but nothing I could say will do justice to her memory.

When all is said and done, her greatest legacy is the family she’s left behind: Two fine children and a gallant husband. I’m sure they would agree with me when I say, they are who they are because of her.

Godspeed Susie! Pray for us!

Way to Go Day-Day!

(Photo: Bob Donnan USA TODAY Sports)

A hearty congratulations to Draymond Green and his Warrior teammates on their NBA Championship!

When Draymond squeezed into his first Spartan jersey, there were many—me included—who were unsure if he’d amount to anything. He was chubby, looked slow and made his share of mistakes. His first nickname was “Dancing Bear.”

Well, it wasn’t long before SpartanNation learned how wrong we were.

When Day-Day graduated, there were hopes that he’d land somewhere in the pros. A lot of NBA scouts doubted his ability to stick in the league, but Draymond knew they were wrong. Very wrong:

I mean, that’s what they said…I won the national player-of-the-year award in college, consensus All-American. I made every, every single first-team All-American that you could possibly make, and I was a second-round pick, and a lot of people said I could never play in this league. Too slow, too small, can’t shoot well enough, can’t defend nobody. What does he do well? He doesn’t have a skill.


The secret to Day-Day is his huge heart:

I’ve got heart, and that’s what stands out. It was just one of those moments where it’s like I’ve always been doubted my entire life.

I would add his humility.

Say what? He’s the biggest trash-talker since Reggie Miller!

Ah, but don’t confuse humility with self-deprecation. True humility is knowing who and what you are, the good and the bad. No more, no less.

At 25 years old, Draymond Green knows himself pretty well.

Day-Day, you’re my hero!

Happy Belated Birthday Abe!

abraham-lincolnYesterday, ahem, was our 16th president’s birthday.

Living in the Land of Lincoln—ironically the most corrupt state in the union, for which he gave his life—I would be remiss in not posting a remembrance of one of our nation’s greatest men…and yet here we are a day late.


One of the most moving experiences I ever had was standing in front of the cenotaph in his tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield to pay my respects. He is interred with his wife and boys near him. I remember feeling that he would probably be uncomfortable with the enormity and elaborateness of the monument, but at the same time, I’m sure he would understand that it is as much for us as for him.

This is not his original resting place. That is a very humble tomb cut into a hillside elsewhere on the grounds. If you ever find yourself in Springfield, make a point of visiting his house—it’s still there, just as he left it when leaving for Washington—but make sure to visit his tomb.

Ask him to pray for us, because our country desperately needs men like him now.