Presenting the Ethics Alarms Heroes’ Hall Of Honor


Today, the anniversary of September 11. 2001, American minds should be occupied with thoughts of gratitude for heroes, the often anonymous and unknown people we may pass in the street every day, as well as the justly famous and celebrated, who make our lives and many others better by living their own selflessly and well. They are our salvation, role models and neighbors, and they teach us the lesson that all is never lost, and hope is always thriving, as long as there are good and courageous people who will do the right thing, no matter what the cost, when fate turns to them.

This seems like a propitious time to dedicate the Ethics Alarms Heroes Hall of Honor, the list of the Ethics Heroes Emeritus whose stories have been told here (and on this site’s predecessor, The Ethics Scoreboard.) Every current member of the Hall is now deceased, like the brave men and women who died this day, 12 years ago. Each of them, in a unique way, teaches how human beings can rise above the vicissitudes of mere survival, self-interest, personal benefits and the base desires of the species  to live  meaningful and virtuous lives. Some accomplished this over decades, some with one brilliant and transforming act of distinction.

There are currently 32 members enshrined in this virtual Hall. Obviously, it is far from complete. They are just symbolic representatives, worthy ones, of millions more who once breathed the same air we do today, and like those who perished twelve years ago, face the prospect of being forgotten over time, as we all go about the consuming task of getting from one day to another. Each one of us, I believe, is capable of emulating their example.

Here are the thirty-two members and their stories, as of this date,

September 11, 2013...

Sir Edmund Hillary

Desmond Doss

Henri Salmide

Albert Göring

Willie Reed

Bob Fletcher

Jean Stapleton

Annette Funicello

Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin

Jack McDonald

Stan Musial

Charles Durning

Russell Means

Eric Lomax

Harry Philo

Jackie Robinson

Dennis P. Weichel Jr.

Rushworth Kidder

James Q. Wilson

Roger Boisjoly

Christopher Hitchens

Stetson Kennedy

Mike Flanagan

Marlene Dietrich

Phoebe Snow

Dorothy Young

Elizabeth Taylor

Sparky Anderson

Lena Horne

Robert M. McElwaine

Miep Gies

Lester Rodney

Sister Antonia Brenner

Jack Marshall, Sr.

6 thoughts on “Presenting the Ethics Alarms Heroes’ Hall Of Honor

  1. Desmond Doss is my personal hero. I was fortunate enough to meet him a year or so before he died. What an awesome story of courage and faith. May I suggest you think about adding Louie Zamperini? (“Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand)

    • Let’s see…

      1. Because all of these people are dead and prominent enough to get national publicity when they died, and women were not given equal power and opportunity to make remarkable contributions at this level until recently, nd arguably not even now? Everyone in “Profiles in Courage” is male. 95% percent of famous athletes are male. Most scientists are male—there isn’t a single woman in the NASA control room in “Apollo 13.” There were no World War Two soldiers who were female. Women will catch up, but there are centuries of men getting the most chances to make a difference.
      2. There is no affirmative action in virtue or heroism
      3. I wasn’t keeping count.
      4. There are as many women who qualify, I just don’t know about them.

      • Thanks. That’s why I asked.
        The reasons for the disparity are worth noting for the record.
        Perhaps one of the ethics-literate female bloggers could post her “Hall?”

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