This is a recreation of the famous GapMinder visualization showing “the dynamic fluctuation in…
“Six months ago, Taylor [Morris] was serving our nation in Afghanistan. And as a member of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, his job was one of the most dangerous there is: to lead the way through territory littered with hidden explosives; to clear the way for his brothers-in-arms.
On May 3rd, while out on patrol, Taylor stepped on an IED. The blast threw him into the air. And when he hit the ground, Taylor realized that both his legs were gone. And his left arm. And his right hand.
But as Taylor lay there, fully conscious, bleeding to death, he cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way. He feared another IED was nearby. Taylor’s concern wasn’t for his own life; it was for theirs.
Eventually, they cleared the area. They tended to Taylor’s wounds. They carried him off the battlefield. And days later, Taylor was carried into Walter Reed, where he became only the fifth American treated there to survive the amputation of all four limbs.
Now, Taylor’s recovery has been long. And it has been arduous. And it’s captivated the nation. A few months after the attack, with the help of prosthetics, the love and support of his family, and above all his girlfriend Danielle, who never left his side, Taylor wasn’t just walking again. In a video that went viral, the world watched he and Danielle dance again.
I’ve often said the most humbling part of my job is serving as Commander-in-Chief. And one of the reasons is that, every day, I get to meet heroes. I met Taylor at Walter Reed. And then in July, at the White House, I presented him with the Purple Heart. And right now, hanging on a wall in the West Wing is a photo of that day, a photo of Taylor Morris smiling wide and standing tall.
I should point out that Taylor couldn’t make it here today because he and Danielle are out kayaking. In Taylor we see the best of America—a spirit that says, when we get knocked down, we rise again. When times are tough, we come together. When one of us falters, we lift them up. In this country we take care of our own—especially our veterans who have served so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name. And we carry on, knowing that our best days always lie ahead.”
—President Obama on Veterans Day
Patience Beard was born with a proximal femoral focal deficiency (one leg was way shorter than the other) that eventually required amputation. But that didn’t stop her from cheering. This year she is one of only 5 freshman to make the University Of Arkansas cheerleading team.