My home town, Indianapolis, features a beautiful city center, all deliberately laid out before the city was developed. The city center is a perfect square mile, circumscribed by the streets named North, South, East, and West, and in the middle of that square mile is a circle, in the center of which stands a monument to Indiana’s soldier and sailors who fought in the Civil War [and also in the Spanish American war, but that is another story]. We call this landmark “the monument” and the center of our city “Monument Circle.” At this spring-time of year, it is lush with flowers and its fountains are splashing into the pools that surround it.
The figure at the very top of the monument is “Miss Liberty.” It is said that she faces south in order to welcome home the surviving troops. At the lower levels of the monument, east and west depict friezes of “war” and “peace,” and each of the four lower level squares is dedicated to one of the armed forces.
Today America honors our fallen heroes and our veterans–all of the men and women who serve and who have served to protect the liberties that we enjoy. I add my voice to that praise and thanksgiving, and I do so from the heart of a city that knows well how to remember and how to honor.
Business owners and executives have struggled through recent downturns in our economy, and it is easy to feel discouraged and disappointed with sales and business development or opportunities or growth, or simply a temporary downturn in expectations. Can we find the grace to honor? Do we have the spirit to celebrate?
I’d say yes, and that grace and spirit is more important today than ever. The fundamental freedoms still live that encourage entrepreneurship in the United States, that nurture business development and business growth, and that allow women and men to found and grow business enterprises.
For those privileges I am profoundly grateful to the women and men who have fought for them since our founding as a nation. I think especially today of my dad Ray Tag, WWII fighter pilot stationed in England and flying missions over Germany, who was a German POW when I was born, and who survived and thrived as an entrepreneur and salesman after that war and who [with our Mom of course!] raised seven daughters to think like he did about American business! My dad passed away almost 40 years ago but his love for enterprise and American ingenuity is alive and–I hope–well. Let’s give thanks, celebrate, and build our businesses with renewed energy tomorrow.