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...
6 thoughts on “Presenting the Ethics Alarms Heroes’ Hall Of Honor”
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)
You are a lucky man. I would have been so honored to meet Mr. Doss. His is one of the most inspiring stories on the entire list.
“those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity” –Hitchens
apropos for 9/11
Okay, I can’t wait any longer. I expected somebody else to bring this up.
Why 24 males and only 8 females?
Surely some are missing…and I won’t call you Shirley.
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?”