As F.G. Fitzer observed earlier this morning, today is National Aviation Day, a holiday that promotes an industry that has become more of an annoyance than an inspiration. Today also commemorates something more inspiring: Humanitarian workers who put themselves into dangerous situations in order to help other human beings.
August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, established by the United Nations, which explains: “World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world. Thousands of people across the globe are doing incredible work every day. But unfortunately some of them pay the ultimate price. This World Humanitarian Day, we honour those humanitarians who face danger to help people in need.”
According to the Guardian, last year was the most dangerous year on record for Humanitarian workers. 155 were killed while doing their work.
The United Nations is promoting a Messengers of Humanity program in which people allow the UN to hijack their social media web sites to spread messages it writes about the need to keep humanitarian workers safe. It would probably be more effective, however, for you to write your own messages promoting World Humanitarian Day – spam for a good cause is still spam. The hashtag on Twitter is #HumanitarianHeroes.