On The Agony of Heroes

Can you imagine the courage mustered by doctors and nurses in these gravest of circumstances? Surrounded by the enemy, under deadly gunfire, and without the certainty of rescue, these formerly civilian men and women rose to the occasion to deliver their expert care to the maimed and forlorn of their entrusted patient. For some it seemed a looming fate that they would not escape, that their future was dim and prospects of returning to loved ones as dark as those many nights they hunkered in their foxholes and dugouts awaiting the next explosion or burst of automatic weapons. It was here that bravery was every bit as palpable as the soldiers and Marines fighting beside them. It was here that their suffering mingled with the agonies of the men locked in battle with an enemy within sight and sound and who was likely to give no quarter should capitulation be the only recourse. I was stunned by the equipoise of these young men and women who did not break stride but ran to the injured, bent over their broken bodies, and relentlessly labored, oblivious to the sights and sounds that might, at any minute, spell their own demise. Step back in time with me and put yourself in their place, and feel the fear that they all felt and wonder, as I did, from what deep source they managed to pull fort the spiritual fortitude to complete their task. Heroes they all were: those who sought mercy and those who delivered it.