Some people bleed red. Some people bleed blue. Republican or Democrat, that is.
Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary, realized that the ideals he developed while attending college changed the color he bled. At BYU's Forum on Tuesday, Fleischer encouraged BYU students to determine who they are, to always be learning and to believe in a cause with their whole heart and soul.
While attending Middlebury College, Fleischer was unaware of what his next step in life would entail. Fostering a love for politics and policy, he found a job as a press secretary in New York for a local government official. As more career opportunities came along, Fleischer's decision to stay with his current job in New York until the work was finished helped pave the path for success in his future endeavors.
That path ultimately led to the position of White House press secretary for President George W. Bush.
"When I think back about my time at the White House, what amazes me is the fact that I was the first-hand witness to so much of history at the beginning of the millennium," said Fleischer. "I remember standing on the Great Wall of China, and the back rooms of the Kremlin to meet with Putin. I remember standing on a beach in Normandy, France, on America's Memorial Day."
The most trying days, however, were the days following September 11, 2001.
"I'll forever remember the most emotional and difficult day I had on September 14, 2001, as I stood at ground zero," Fleischer said. "The rubble of those towers, reduced down to seven stories of melted steel and ash, sat beneath my feet."
The period of unity that followed the September 11th attacks was encouraging to Fleischer as it reminded him of what he was ultimately striving to accomplish in his role as press secretary.
"I tell you these stories because I want you to learn about who you are, and to fight for what you believe in," said Fleischer. "Decide what's important to you and be diligent about that."
Next Devotional: David Dollahite, BYU Family Life Professor
The next BYU Devotional address will be given by BYU Family Life Professor David Dollahite on Tuesday, Sept 27, at 11:05 a.m., in the Marriott Center.
His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM and BYU Radio.