The events of September 11th have taught me that men and women act heroically when they do what they are called to do. The public school teacher who faithfully meets his or her classroom every day for thirty or forty years is doing something heroic. The scholar who advances our understanding of the world is doing something heroic. The minister who faithfully serves God in the place where he or she has been called is doing something heroic. The general contractor who uses his or her gifts to construct a house is doing something heroic. And even the work of the pile-man can be heroic when it is done in service to God and others.
So let's not forget the pile-men of Ground Zero. Not all of us are called to wade through the debris, but we are all called to do our work in a heroic fashion. September 11th has just as much to teach us about calling and vocation as it does about national pride, patriotism, and Islamic terrorists.