NILES STRONG – where does it come from and what does it mean?
As you might suspect, it has itsroots in the city of myroots – Boston, Massachusetts. Following the bombing of innocent men, women and children spectators at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured hundreds of others, the entire Boston city and region banded together to bring the cowardly perpetrators of the crime to justice. Go back and look at the pictures – aerial photos of Boston roads and freeways empty like a ghost town, leaving law enforcement free to do its job. Countless law enforcement agencies working together to hunt down and finally capture the SOBs who thought they could terrorize people who had other ideas about freedom and how to preserve it. Those same citizens working together to make sure any and all information was made available to authorities. Five police officers injured or killed taking down the wrongdoers – in a mere six days. It all gave way to the slogan, “Boston Strong”, epitomized by Big Papi – David Ortiz – standing with a microphone before the home crowd at Fenway Park and reminding them, “This is our city, and nobody’s gonna [bleeping] take it away from us!”
Okay…I get it. We at Niles Rotary have not been confronted on our home turf by terrorists. But the message rings clear. There is strength in numbers, and power in commitment. When together we paint a map of the United States that will be seen on a playground by generations of children, we are Niles Strong. When we work together year in and year out to throw a crazy fun dinner, reverse raffle, and auction, raising close to $80,000 yearly to fund charitable projects throughout the Fremont area, we are Niles Strong. When we send a full container of wheelchairs for delivery to war torn former Yugoslavia, or bring wheelchairs to Mexico City we are Niles Strong. When two people in our club endure the tragedy of a son badly injured in a car crash, and we raise $2500 in five minutes to help defray the cost of them going to Los Angeles to be with him, we are Niles Strong. When Niles Rotarians travel to Chile to help build a much needed orphanage, we are Niles Strong. When we pray for and give solace to fellow Niles Rotarians in their time of trouble, we are Niles Strong. When we show up in force at the Rotary International Convention, or share time together at Fellowship Fridays, or just shout it out at our weekly meetings, we are Niles Strong. I could go on and on.
Take pride in what we do. And remember we do it together. Because each of us can make an impact; each of us can make a difference. But, together, we are more than that — we are NILES STRONG!
Thanks for listening.