Each spring, the Earth and Mother Nature find it somehow necessary to disrupt the lives of otherwise peaceful people with the natural disasters of flooding and tornadoes. Each time another catastrophe strikes, I am reminded of the story of the resilience of the folks who lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota a few years back. Unfortunately, this scenario has been played and replayed in other towns and cities many times since then, and the courage shown by others is equally as inspiring, but I will always remember Grand Forks.

There is so much more to the story than just the fact that the banks of the Red River sending flood waters over its banks. There was a statement made by the rugged individuals who looked the beast squarely in the eye and said, “Hold on a minute here. You can damage our buildings, but you cannot destroy our spirit.”

The true sense of community beams across this great country, never more touchingly than in Grand Forks. It was then, and is now, worthy of a second look. We might all just learn a few things about resilience.

At a time when ninety percent of the fifty thousand residents found their homes and businesses… or both… under water, it would have been a lot easier to just give up, accept defeat and literally throw in the towel… but they refused to do so. Instead, the town’s newspaper, the Grand Forks Herald continued to print the news of the day just as they had done for the previous one hundred years. And the paper, though its building was first flooded and subsequently destroyed by fire, may not have been all that they wanted it to be, but it was everything that the townsfolk needed it to be. It was a moment of courage where the inner strength was tested and the lifeline that was needed at a time of crisis. Now that is truly news that is fit to print.

Where's Wayne

  • Apr 30
    Drury Lane Theatre,  Oakbrook Terrace
  • May 3
    Allstate Arena,  Rosemont
  • May 4
    The Chapel,  Mundelein
  • May 4
    Wrigley Field,  Chicago


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Wayne Messmer with Judy Roberts