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Linda Lee Sand, Moorhead, Published April 18 2013

Letter: It was something bigger than themselves

It was 10:30 at night during flood fight ’09. The whole family had been out sandbagging and we came home exhausted, sore and dirty. Then we saw a pallet of sandbags delivered to neighbors to our south. My husband and two older boys got their boots back on and headed out the door. Our youngest, then 9, started to follow. I told him he had to stay home because he was young and needed his rest. “Mom,” he said and I’ll never forget the look in his eyes and his quivering but resolute chin, “they need me.”

That, Ed Schultz, was one of my most humbling moments as a parent. He didn’t say I want to go because everyone else was. He knew deep inside that he was needed for something bigger than himself.

Yes, we need permanent flood protection and our cities are working on that. But until then, we should celebrate that our young people are willing and able to volunteer for a cause bigger than themselves. As Albert Einstein said: “A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.”