Honoring our unsung national heroes

Dear Editor,

There has been much ado lately about who and what defines a, “national hero”.

I recently came across an Oxford definition that defines a hero as, “A person who is admired for their consistent courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” It’s not seeking 15-minutes of fame, but modeling a lifestyle of committed, responsible heroic behavior.

This week, exactly two years ago, I led a follow-up humanitarian visit to Abaco and Grand Bahama in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. While in Marsh Harbour, I was captivated by an image of a Bahamian flag still on a pole, whose torn and tattered remains blew with “all it had left” amidst unprecedented devastation.

Dorian relief workers, both international and local were still hard at work making their contributions to rebuilding the island. No big salaries, cameras, videos or reporters, just good humanitarians at heart.

As I continue to reflect, I remember how exactly one year ago, I was privileged to engage a wide cross-section of our local tourism and hospitality professionals. Many were still grappling with the crippling blow brought on by the COVID pandemic, but yet they remained resolute in their efforts to keeping it, “Better in The Bahamas” by fighting at the forefront in our tourism rebound and recovery efforts.

Beyond that, I recall the many church, community, healthcare and law enforcement leaders and workers who never gave up, never gave in and oftentimes pressed through their personal pain and problems to make life better for people, every day. They served while others slept and believed when others doubted.

My definition of a hero is a distributor of hope. They offer hope to those who have no where to turn. They help those who are hurting. They help to lift up heads towards the rising sun. Their words and prayers heal the spirits of those bent and broken by the vicissitudes of life. They are often overlooked yet undervalued and overworked yet underpaid.

Oftentimes, they go unnoticed. They seldom make the headlines or seek the applause of mortal men. They however are in the majority and come from amongst every sector of society. There are many more like them, who represent the ordinary Bahamian, doing extraordinary things.

I see them. I recognize them. I appreciate them.

They also deserve the honor as our national heroes, as we admire their consistent display of courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities.

My thoughts,

Dr. Kenneth Romer

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