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OP/ED: Voices Silenced: Some Of The People We Lost In 2004

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posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 02:00 AM
As each year comes to an end, we often reflect back on those voices that were silenced. 2004 was no different, we saw the death of an actor turned cold warrior, a terrorist or father of the Palestinian movement depending on your perspective. Silenced forever was the voice of a blind soul singer, and the co-discoverer of the of the basic building blocks of life on our planet. 2004 will always be note worth for what transpired for the seemingly short 365 days, but it will be also remembered those we have lost.

Ronald Reagan: Coming into power at what seemed to be the lowest morale point in the American Century, Reagan brought a quiet strength and the charisma that was needed during this time. Love him or hate him, his enduring legacy aside from his Cold War victory is that he made Americans feel pride in their country again.

Yasser Arafat: Father of the Palestinian organization and noteworthy terrorist depending on your perspective. Arafat’s legacy may be not what he did or did no do while alive, but the resumption of the peace process that has taken tentative steps foreword since he died.

Ray Charles: Proof that no matter what our disability, we can overcome and prosper. I doubt that there are very many people who have not heard or been moved by one of his songs.

Francis Crick: Co discovered the “double helix” structure of DNA and revolutionized the way we view life on our planet.

Christopher Reeve: Superman movies aside, brought new awareness to the plight of those effected with spinal cord injury, and raised millions for research.

Marlon Brando: For his role in “On The Waterfront”, to his award winning portrayal of Mob Boss Vito Corleone, to his chilling Colonel Kurtz, he inspired viewers and won converts to method acting.

Julia Child: Taught generations of people how to cook. Her funny unpretentious style will be missed, and she is the original of the now everyday television cooks.

Alistair Cooke: Best known as the refined British narrator of Masterpiece Theatre and a variety of PBS shows.

Bob Keeshan: Best known to most of us as Captain Kangaroo, he brought education and fun to millions of children.

Pat Tillman: The NFL player who walked away from guaranteed millions in the NFL to enlist in the Army Special Forces and serve his country following the events of September 11, 2001

Many more famous or infamous people died in 2004, however, we lost some lesser known that profoundly changed our lives.

Norman Heatley: A British scientist who worked on a production method for the then new wonder drug penicillin. This alone saved millions over the years from infection, and spawned a whole new class of drugs.

William H. Pickering: As the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he helped the U.S. get into the space race with our first satellite in 1958.

Gordon Cooper: One of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, he was the first to remain in space for 24 hours.

Maxime A. Faget: Little known father of the United States manned space program. Designed or had a hand in every manned U.S. spacecraft from Mercury to Apollo

Sir John Vane: Co-Discovered the theory of how aspirin works in the human body. He won a Nobel Prize for his work.

Ancel Keys: Better known for discovering how fat can cause heart attacks, he is lesser known for inventing the infamous K rations used by U.S. forces for many years.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: Taught the medical establishment as the general public about allowing death with dignity.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a few of the people I felt profoundly impacted our lives.

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