Joseph Campbell, the brilliant professor of literature known for his explorations of the power of myth, once said, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
Campbell’s simple truth provides ample food for thought as we celebrate this Memorial Day.
For some, the day is simply viewed as a day off, the traditional start of the summer season of pool parties, backyard cook-outs and holiday sales. But as a nation, we should never lose sight of the deeper meaning of Memorial Day: a time to remember the heroism of the men and women who died in military service, who died with the steadfast belief in something bigger than oneself. With remembrance comes a deep sense of appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, its values and democratic ideals.
It is especially appropriate for those of us who live in this city and work at UT Health San Antonio to reflect on the significance of the day. The many stellar partnerships between UT Health San Antonio and San Antonio’s military medicine community are a particular source of pride for us. Our commitment to the health needs of active duty personnel, veterans and their families is unwavering. So too must be our honor and respect for Memorial Day and that for which it stands.
We owe a large and, in many ways, unrepayable debt to the men and women who have given their all. We will forever be grateful to them for sacrificing their lives for our freedom.
William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
President and Professor of Medicine
John P. Howe III, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Health Policy