BY STEVE DUNN
Each year Time Magazine names a Person of the Year. Men like Albert Schwietzer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bob Dylan, and George Bush have had this distinction. So have women like Queen Elizabeth and Miley Cyrus have held this distinction. Some choices have seemed odd, some have made us question the Byzantine criterion that goes about selecting them. Some have been politically a matter of taste or party. Some, like Adolf Hitler, have made you want the year to simply be forgotten.
There is no ambiguity or objectionability to this year’s choice – the Ebola Fighters.
Time magazine’s editors decided to honor the “unprecedented numbers” of doctors and nurses who responded when Ebola overtook an already-weak public health infrastructure, and Time Editor Nancy Gibbs outlined how governments were ill-equipped to respond, WHO “was in denial and snarled in red tape” and first responders were accused of crying wolf as the disease spread.
Reported Time: “Yet many doctors and nurses, especially those from Doctors Without Borders and Samaritan’s Purse, responded and worked alongside local physicians, nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams, Gibbs wrote. Some were driven by God, while others did it for country and some simply had “the instinct to run into the fire, not away.”.
The fact that these medical persons would risk life to go into such Third and Fourth World basket case nations make them heroes of the first order. And they have reminded many of us our moral responsibility to the “least of these” who are neighbors in shrinking global world.
I am proud to add my vote of confidence to this year’s decision by Nancy Gibbs and her colleagues.