Opinion: A cheer to those who answer the call to something greater than self-service

Photo by Desiree Rios / The New York Times / Maria Santiago places flowers on the name of her sister, Rosa Maria Feliciano, during the ceremony to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, on Sept. 11, 2022.


At a time when it seems like our society is spiraling with out-of-control selfishness, consumed with immediate gratification, self- centeredness, illiberalism and grievance, it can be helpful to remind ourselves that there are plenty of folks around who practice altruism.

Here's my story on how, during several days in September, two Marines, a queen and some first responders reminded me of the value of having a sense of duty.

On Sept. 9, I stood at the gravesite of Sgt. Major John Henry Quick at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Jennings, Missouri. The occasion was to recognize the 100-year anniversary of this Medal of Honor recipient's death. Placed at his modest headstone was a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers placed there by a fellow Marine.

Quick was born June 20, 1870, in Charleston, West Virginia.