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Men Are Unsung Heroes

By Marty Nemko

Just before I went to bed, I read today’s New York Times online headline, “12 Miners Found Alive 41 Hours After Explosion”. I went downstairs, turned on the TV and saw a Fox News report that the Times was wrong and that all twelve were in fact dead. Ah, the media.

Next my mind went to a statistic: that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, more that 95 percent of the people in the 10 most dangerous jobs are men: from timber cutters to construction laborers. Coal miner, which is 99 percent men, isn’t even in the top 10. We are in an era, in which men are widely portrayed as boors, crooks, or at best, beer-guzzling football watchers. I think that the tragic death of those 12 coal miners, all men, should serve as a reminder that our lives would not be possible if it weren’t for the men, yes, men not men and women, who are willing to go into our basement to eradicate a rat population, dig into our sewers to ensure our toilets don’t back up, fish the Icy Alaskan waters to catch the salmon the doctors urge us to eat, build the homes we live in, the buildings we work in, and the highways and vehicles that take us there. In today’s era in which so many features extol the contributions of women, I believe it’s fair to say that men are unsung heroes.

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