Americans at their best

Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: The story about a group of Marines – one of them an EMT – who gave their lives to save an Iraqi girl draws a strong connection between the levels of sacrifice that have occurred, and continue to occur, in the years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This is an incredible story, and it's a good one for this week of tributes to the events of 9/11. For many people it's become a challenge to connect the attacks on the NYC, Washington and Shanksville to what we are doing in Afghanistan; the tincture of time has that effect.

My Thursday column will provide a few of my thoughts and emotions that are permanently tied to that tragic day. I've come to accept my anger and sorrow and it has helped me to recommit to my profession time and again.

Many incidents occur daily during combat. On occasion we hear about a specific situation, usually when our soldiers are killed or injured. Countless more stories are not being told, which makes this one especially poignant. In pursuit of justice for their fellow citizens, this particular combat group discovered the needs of an Iraqi child, and without hesitation made it their priority to mitigate. Most of them were killed in the process of successfully saving this one child.

I really can't think of a more heroic display of selflessness and loyalty to the human spirit. It's the best that Americans can show their fellow global citizens.

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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