One of the sad parts of life is losing friends and comrades along the way. As I page through the 2008 issues of Dynamic Chiropractic, I am struck by just how many chiropractic champions we have lost this year alone.
Our very first issue (Jan. 1, 2008) included the announcement of the death of Earl Wiley, DC. Earl played a major role in the final chapter of the transformation of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. A quiet, thoughtful man, Earl looked at the issues, thought about them and moved with conviction.
Not long after (Feb. 12, 2008 issue) came the announcement of Dr. Monty Greenawalt's death. If you never met Monty, you missed something special. He was always full of excitement and enthusiasm. His energy in life was truly spent trying to make a difference.
Two issues later (April 8, 2008) came the memorial to George Goodheart, DC. How many doctors of chiropractic were impacted by Dr. Goodheart over his 68-year career? How much did the profession change over that time?
Our "moment of silence" for Dr. David Prescott appeared in the July 1, 2008 issue. David was both a chiropractor and lawyer who worked in California for the rights of the profession. He was also one of our columnists. Then the Aug. 12, 2008 issue announced the passing of Dr. Mary Ann Chance. While not well-known in this country, she was the editor of the Chiropractic Journal of Australia. Dr. Chance was a real groundbreaker who was awarded the highest honor from the Australian Chiropractic Association three times (in 1982, 1988 and 1998).
The very next issue (Aug. 26, 2008) included announcements of the passing of Leander Eckard, DC, and Rob Sherman, former executive director of the Ohio State Chiropractic Association. Both were pioneers, Lee with his table and Rob with his development of chiropractic in Ohio and the formation of the National Association of Chiropractic Attorneys.
With this kind of a beginning, the rest of the year may not look very different. In fact, this issue (see page 1) features a tribute to David S. Walther, DC, who made significant contributions to the education of thousands of chiropractors. While I never met Dr. Walther, I have great respect for those who dedicate their lives to teaching others.
Such is life. We have a very short time to make our mark, have an impact and leave a legacy. These men and women can be very proud of their contribution to chiropractic. Our profession has gained from their efforts. In many ways, we stand on their shoulders. I'm sure there are many things they wish they had done. Knowing most of them as I did, I know that to be true.
But that just leaves a lesson and a challenge for the rest of us. There is still much to do in our mission to bring chiropractic care to the world. We still need to inform, care for and educate the world to better understand the value that chiropractic brings to health.
While you may never have a global or even national impact, you can reach out to your community. Your care, concern and lifestyle are an example to those you serve and those they share life with. People need to know what you have to say.
I think if we could ask those who have gone before us how we could impact the future, they would tell us: There is still much to do! We owe it to their memory to do our part. We have a responsibility to pick up the torch that they have left behind and carry it forward as far as we can.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.