by Meg Storm
In the wake of what proved to be a truly historic week of service and charity, we sat down with Glenn to get his thoughts on how Restoring Love completes the Restoring trilogy he began two years ago in Washington D.C., how he feels coming out of this remarkable chapter of his life, and what comes next.
It was the Tuesday before Restoring Love when Glenn called for an all-hands staff meeting. At this point, the majority of the Mercury staff from across the country had made their way to Dallas to ensure the success of the events that weekend, and as he did the year before in Israel, Glenn felt it was important to rally the troops.
He looked around the room at his staff, many of whom had not been together in quite some time, and thanked them for coming. He talked about the history that had been created at the previous years’ events and the history that would be created again that week. He encouraged everyone to keep a journal, so that they could remember all the amazing things they were going to be a part of. And finally, he told everyone to look past the inevitable lack of sleep and endless schedule that awaited them to have a little fun.
But perhaps the most poignant moment came when Glenn asked everyone to be his ambassador. An encounter with a Mercury employee will be the closest a lot of people ever come to meeting Glenn – a remarkable fact that sometimes gets lost in the crazy shuffle of things.
It was a tremendous call for responsibility that put everything into perspective. While it is easy to get lost running through the motions with events like these, it is important to take pause and remember who these events are really for: the fans.
“I am getting so isolated at these events, because we get so busy,” Glenn said somberly. “We are going to so many different things. I just don’t get a chance to be out with the people very much.”
Since he wasn’t going to get a chance to meet with each and every person who made their way to Dallas individually, Glenn did the next best thing – he rallied his staff and sent his family out into the crowd to experience the goodness of this event for him.
“Both my daughters worked the booths at the stadium,” Glenn revealed. “We don’t put my daughters on TV and there aren’t any pictures of them, so no one knew who my daughters were.”
It’s hard to say just how many people unknowingly met Glenn’s daughters, but one thing is for certain, the girls were forever changed by the love and compassion they felt that weekend.
“My daughters came home each night crying about how nice the audience was,” Glenn said. “They kept coming home every night saying, ‘Dad I have to tell you about this person.’”
Whether it was the man who helped them put together one of the booths when he saw them struggling, or the girl who went and found a rubber band for one of his daughters to use as a makeshift hairband after hers broke, it was the little things that left the largest impressions.
“Who does that? Who watches someone’s hairband break in a huge crowd, leaves, goes and asks a bunch of people, and then comes back with, ‘I’m sorry I can’t find a hairband, but here’s something,’” Glenn asked. “The people are just so great.”
One of Glenn’s favorite moments from the entire weekend came from a story his good friend and photographer, George Lange, told him about the fantastic people who had come to Dallas.
“George Lange called me up after he was going to shoot film of the volunteers. He is practically in tears, and he says, ‘Glenn, this is everything that you have talked about. This is everything that you said would happen. It’s happening here,’” Glenn recalled.
Lange described that being out in the crowd with the throngs of people brought him back to the moment in Washington D.C. when we looked out and saw the size of the crowd that had gathered for Restoring Honor, and everyone just burst into tears. Watching busload after busload of people depart Cowboys Stadium for Friday’s Day of Service made him realize just how wonderful people can be.
“George is a liberal,” Glenn said. “And he followed that story up with, you know, we are always looking for some utopia, but it is here. No government can create this. It is only when people decide to put their hearts together that it happens. That’s what it is. I am so happy that my friend saw that.”
During his speech at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night, Glenn referenced this same spirit when he told the crowd:
We are not a selfish people. We are selfless. You are the living proof of this. You are living proof that Americans are good. Americans are still people of action. Americans want freedom. Americans want justice. We want love. And here’s the thing: There are millions of you. Millions just like you. Millions ready to act, ready to take up the struggle, ready to commit, to activate, to live it, to create, to restore love to America. We will not let go. We will not give up. We’re not going to put our cars in neutral. We’re not going to coast down the hill. We’re going to do it the hard way. We’re going to put our shoulders down. We’re going to get behind the car. And we’re going to push America up the hill.
“I say with surety that this is the audience that will restore the country,” Glenn said proudly. “It will. They will play a role. This is the audience.”
There is no way to repay the fans that have made the successes of Restoring Honor, Restoring Courage, and Restoring Love possible. There is no way to ever really thank you for going along with Glenn on this crazy ride. But you should know that the endless hours of work Glenn and staff put in each and every day is to ensure that you are being delivered the absolute best Mercury has to offer.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,” Glenn said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
The Restoring Love events were three summers in the making, and though the trilogy is over the real work has just begun. Tomorrow Glenn takes a look back at how we got here and gives us a sneak peak at what comes next.