Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

The Meaning Of Life After 9/11

I don’t think the Goods has much to add to the omnipresent coverage of 9/11 + 10, but we can share one mighty powerful conversation that came out of this week of reflection and reevaluation:

There are a lot of 9/11 survivors out there, but few as awe-inspiring as the firefighters who jolted into the towers and somehow made it out to tell their stories.

One such hero is Deputy Chief Jay Jonas, who spoke to NPAh’s Terry Gross earlier this week. Hero Jonas was on the fourth floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower when it collapsed. Jonas and 12 of his fellow firefighters took cover as 106 stories crumbled down on them and the one petrified woman they managed to save, the woman who made their immense effort worthwhile.

The interview with Jonas is so very absolutely worth your time, especially if you haven’t heard any stories from inside the towers. Out of an unconscionable act came a whole lot of unimaginable feats of bravery, selflessness and compassion.

GROSS: You both know a lot of people who died on September 11th. You both know a lot of people who have chronic health problems as a result of it, and Dennis Smith, you are one of those who has chronic health problems as a result. And Chief Jonas, you do too, though not as severe. I’m wondering if 9/11, and all of the aftermath that you’ve witnessed, have changed the way you see the meaning or the lack of meaning in life?

Mr. SMITH: That really is a question for Chief Jonas, honestly. You know, I have never met anybody in my life who has been through what he has been through and, yeah.

Mr. JONAS: Meaning of life? Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. I really have no regrets of any of my actions on that day, even though we took extraordinary risk. And if I did die that day, I would have died doing something that I love and helping out my fellow man. So the meaning of life: Just live life to its fullest and help other people and that’s it. You know, try not to be so self-absorbed and try to seek out things that you can do to make a difference in somebody else’s life.

Nuclear Samurai

When unconscionable tragedy strikes a people can go any number of ways. Thinking back to recent natural disasters, we’ve seen hopelessness, anger, looting, depression, and despair. We’ve also seen solidarity, perseverance, and extraordinarily stubborn commitment to the cause.

Thankfully, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan have given way to far less of the former and much more of the latter. Case and point? The ‘nuclear samurai.’

News Group Newspapers

These real live superheroes have spent the past three weeks jeopardizing their health for the good of the Japanese people, its earth, its animals. In keeping with the general disposition of the Japanese citizenry since tragedy struck, they have done their most daunting work nobly and with very little fanfare.

The samurai have families. Some of them even have other jobs–they’re just braving the radioactive elements to provide for their people in what is certain to be tough economic times. We can assume their pay will never equal their sacrifice.

Let’s hear it for the heroes.