Today's guest post is written by Matt Segneri, who leads civic and social innovation projects at Bennett Midland in New York City. He previously served as a senior advisor to Mayor Thomas Menino, whose office he joined as an HBS Leadership Fellow.
My alarm sounded well before dawn, as it did for dozens of citizens all over Massachusetts. We each found our own way to the Boston Public Garden, driven by a common desire to help, to heal, to honor.
Few of us knew each other but we gathered that day – the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – to build something together. With help from above and a few flashlights, we planted nearly 3,000 flags in the Garden of Remembrance to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
It was a powerful shared experience on a sorrowful but inspiring day. And it provided the spark that would change the next year of my life.