Doctor’s efforts helping people

In the post-9-11 days, much was made of the proper use of the word “hero.” It was often said that firefighters and police officers are often forgotten as heroes, though they are the ones who head toward danger when everyone else is running away.

And that calls up images of heroes as tough, strapping men and strong women in uniform.

But a hero can also wear a suit or scrubs and a stethoscope.

We salute Dr. Basel Termanini, a local gastroenterologist, who has put together a relief effort for Syria to help the people of his homeland.

While many can debate the issues about Syria, Termanini is from the country and has experienced oppression by the government. He wanted to help the medical community and people in need of care, and led the effort, distributing five containers of goods, including everything from children’s clothing and bicycles to cirtically needed medical equipment.

He has experienced the great heart of the area, especially employees of Trinity Health System, in the donations received for the effort.

He holds strong views against the government that he says snatches people from the streets and has hundreds of thousands of intelligence officers among the general population. Freedom is not in great supply. And, Termanini says his strong views mean he probably is on the Syrian government’s watch list, meaning he has to restrict his travels there to rebel-held areas.

We salute the doctor for his courage and example and for reminding one and all that governments and ideologies fight wars.

People, when related to as fellow human beings, can bring healing and peace.