Always Remembered

A plaque in a local hospital commemorates a former worker for more than 40 years of service—but the plaque was erected more than 20 years ago—and no one remembers her now.

Donald Davies was a computer scientist and mathematician who transformed global communication and influenced the development of the internet. Yet few people recognize his name.

James Harrison found he had an unusual plasma composition in his blood that could treat Rhesus disease. He spent the next 57 years of his life making more than 1,000 blood donations that saved the lives of 2.4 million babies. He is mostly forgotten now.

Vasili Arkhipov, a senior officer on a soviet submarine refused to follow his captain’s order to launch a nuclear torpedo at U.S. warships in October 1962, thus preventing the start of World War III. An unsung hero. Few remember.

Nils Bohlin invented car seat belts while working at Volvo. He gave away the patent for free to reduce manufacturing costs and thus save lives. His name and contribution is largely forgotten.

Polish doctor Eugene Lazowski saved 8,000 Jews during Holocaust by injecting them with dead typhus cells. They were healthy, but tested positive for typhus and the Germans were afraid to deport them to concentration camps. A great hero—a forgotten hero—an unsung hero.

Neerja Bhanot, 22, an air hostess wound up on a hijacked plane. She helped hide 41 American passports—because the hijackers were targeting Americans—and died shielding three children with her body. One of the children grew up and became a pilot because of the respect he had for her courage. However, her name has mostly passed out of memory now.

The gorgeous and realistically illustrated Little Golden Books that I loved and grew up reading—and then read to my son—were illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. The editor at Golden Books called her “the soul” of the publications. She died in October, 1987, and while many of the books she illustrated became classics in children literature—few people remember her now.

All different—all heroes. They gave every human effort and strength they possessed—yet years later—they are forgotten.

Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified on a cross 2,000 years ago…never forgotten.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Jesus. Stephanie Parker McKean: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

8 thoughts on “Always Remembered

  1. I really enjoyed this post, Steph. What an impressive and humbling list of forgotten heroes. It’s lovely that you’ve reminded us of these incredible people. Thank you!

  2. Stephanie – for some reason I just saw your comment from my mother’s obituary. I have looked for you on the internet. I have such fond memories of Ali the purple horse and Smokey the little pony. I can’t wait to get a copy of one of your books. I’m sure they are as good as the telephone thing you did in elementary school!! Would love to talk to you again! Love – Gwen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s