Moving on from the horrific acts of terrorism last month will not be easy for thousands of men and women who lost their loved ones and for the millions of others across the nation who were shaken by the enormity of the destruction. We are sad to say that one of our members, Gordon M. Aamoth, MD, was among those who suffered a losshis son.
Americans will never forget the tragic loss of life that occurred on September 11. The courage, strength and selflessness such as displayed by the firefighters, police, emergency workers and the citizens-turned-rescuers that followed is amazing to witness. We can be proud of our members, who with physicians of all specialties, moved quickly with skill and precision to meet the medical needs of the men and women caught in a disaster of unparalleled proportions in this country.
Orthopaedic surgeons and orthopaedic nurses demonstrated, as they do daily in less demanding circumstances, their dedication and compassion for the sick and injured. And their colleagues across the nation were eager to join them. Immediately after the disaster became known, the AAOS heard from dozens of orthopaedistsfrom Michigan to North Carolina, from Wisconsin to Wyomingwho volunteered their service. Many said they were "ready to go now, anywhere, anytime."
The AAOS also heard from orthopaedic societies across the world, expressing their sorrow and support for Americans.
To express our concern for those who have been affected by the terrorism, the AAOS has donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross. Next month, the AAOS staff will be participating in a blood drive to ensure that the New York City and Washington, D.C. hospitals have an adequate supply of blood.
The AAOS operations have not been interrupted; the Council on Education meeting was changed to a conference call and educational courses in Oman and Tel Aviv in 2002 have been cancelled. We will be contacting our colleagues in Oman and Tel Aviv to explore other ways in which we might help with their educational programs in the coming year. All our other education courses and programs are ongoing.
While there is fear and anger in the country, the foundation of this nation is built on faith, family and friendshipthe coming together. We saw this on the streets of New York and in cities and villages across the nation where people gathered in candlelight vigils for those missing and lost. We will move on with courage and strength.
Richard H. Gelberman, MD
William W. Tipton Jr., MD