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Gratitude Built On Remembrance

June 8, 2011 by Jeff Forrest

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an increasing number of documentaries and TV shows on September 11, 2001 (9/11). As we approach the 10th anniversary of that life-changing day, I found myself contemplating the past 10 years and how that day changed our lives. I wont go into where I was or what I was doing on that day. We all have our own personal stories. But, as I reflect I realize that as a company, perhaps 9/11 made us more patriotic. Not too long after 9/11 we added an 800 square foot American flag on the front of our corporate office. In addition, as you walk into our lobby you’ll find a plaque memorializing the events of 9/11. It’s unfortunate that it takes something of such a catastrophic nature to open our eyes to what we take for granted everyday; the freedom that is provided to us by so many men and woman protecting us both on our own soil and abroad.

What has become very apparent to me in the past decade are the choices we’ve made and the added meaning behind some of our charitable activities. Specifically, charities related to wounded veterans that hit a special cord in our sentiments. Perhaps they have more meaning because so many young men and woman are fighting wars that were motivated by 9/11. And, as a result, more and more of them are being permanently injured or killed.

We were approached a few years back by the Johnny Damon foundation to sponsor his events. The idea that Johnny was the national spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project and that a portion of the proceeds from his events goes to the WWP made us far more willing to provide support. And when WPC was asked to participate in the Home at Last projects, a unique effort to honor combat-wounded veterans of the present military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan by providing them with mortgage-free homes, we jumped at the opportunity. We’ve proudly participated in the construction of three of those homes and, without hesitation, have signed up for the fourth. WPC will continue to support these efforts and others with honor and patriotic commitment.

A considerable number of lives were affected far more personally than I was as a result of the events on 9/11.  Yet seeing how our charitable actions affect these wounded vets adds a special sense of pride.

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