Announcement of the Opening of the Tulane University Traumatology Institute web site upgrade

I want to thank Jenn Miller Sarnato for the good work in redesigning and producing a redesigned website ( Thanks for selecting the home page photo of the skyline of New Orleans with those expressive clouds. This beautiful photo is used at the Institute home page through the kindness and courtesy of John McCusker. Thank you John.

Why this is such a great selection to represent a place like New Orleans when introducing the Institute? The clouds.

If you look it up, you will find that clouds are among the most powerful metaphors. In a beautiful article by Rebecca Rosen (2011) in the Atlantic, she noted how “cloud” has taken on new meaning (e.g., Amazon and Apple’s cloud-based storage. But clouds have been a fascination to us all and have inspired artists and engineers alike.

But clouds have always been the focus of poets and great quotes.

Paul F. Davis wrote “the sun always shines above the clouds"

Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” That’s the quote that resonates with the website. The Institute has reported on lots of traumatic things, but have always witnessed grit, determination, inspiration, and as President Obama always said about falling down: “Dusting yourself off and do it all over again.”

When I saw John’s picture in Jenn’s new homepage, I recalled the scene of pointing out the clouds to my daughters, Jessica and Laura, as I drove them to school some days. Both continue to like clouds but did not tell me at the time. Now I see them pointing out clouds with their own children. Makes me smile.

Help Me Get One More - A Memorial Day Greeting

There is a line in the new movie, Hacksaw Ridge, that stuck with me:

“Lord, please help me get one more.”

A WW II combat medic, Desmond Doss, fighting through his exhaustion, knew he could save at least one more soldier who was wounded and would surely die unless saved. It is ironic that Desmond had this intense motivation to save lives in combat. Unlike the rest of his fighting unit, with the motto, “kill them all,” his was “save them all.” He ended up saving 75 fellow soldiers and received the Medal of Honor from President Truman in 1945.

Combat medics and their counterparts in the Marines, the Navy Corpsmen/women are often overlooked when compared to other warfighters. They are like others in the helping professions -- physicians, nurses, social workers, law enforcement, and many others -- they do their job, day after day, to save lives. When they are in crisis mode, their needs are subordinated, just like Desmond Doss. They push themselves to save and heal others.

On this particular Memorial Day holiday filled with uncertainty about our national leaders, remember those who have died for us all. But also let us remember those who did not die because they were saved by combat medics and corpsman. And while we are at it, let’s remember on this Memorial Day those who take care of our war fighters and veterans who also say: “Lord, let me get just one more.”