Rotarians put their lives on the line

Published 7:52 am Friday, July 19, 2019

I love stories of legend and adventure.

I have always felt that it was an escape from the everyday stresses of life.

One of my favorites is the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This story has everything — action, adventure, honor and even magic.

Email newsletter signup

The part of the story that I enjoy the most is that of the knights. The knights were chosen in a very strict and careful manner. They had to be men of honor, of a noble bloodline and they must pledge their undying devotion to their king and kingdom, even in the face of death.

In the story, the magician Merlin told the chosen knights that “from now on, you must love one another and hold one another as dear as brothers, for from the love and sweetness of this table where you will be seated there will be born in your hearts such a great joy and friendship that you will leave your wives and children to be with one another and to spend your youth together.”

These brave men would fight to the death for their king, kingdom and fellow knights.

Now you may be wondering how I could possibly compare this mythical legend to the Rotary Club.

Like the knights of the round table, members of Rotary are people of honor, chivalry and an undying devotion to serve, but do they face death?

Yes, they most certainly do. Since 1985, Rotary has led the battle against the polio disease. In order to eradicate this deadly disease, Rotarians and medical professionals must travel to remote locations to administer the vaccinations.

Some of these locations are under the control of  the Taliban.

I know I don’t need to remind you how brutal the Taliban are or how dangerous it is to be around them.

Rotary International was able to convince the Taliban to allow the children of the villages they control to be vaccinated.

In order for this to happen, Rotarians must meet the Taliban in a neutral location.

Their heads are covered with black hoods, their hands and feet are bound and they are forced to travel in the back of hot vans and trucks for what is sometimes hours, all at gunpoint, knowing that if they make one misstep, it could result in their death.

It can sometimes be dangerous and, yet, they choose to serve.

Why? Because  there is one universal force that connects us all. Love. 

To find out more about the Rotary Club and our efforts to eradicate polio, visit our website at and remember, All it takes to do good in this world, is an open mind and a willing heart.

Nathan Davis is president of the Ironton Rotary Club. Their website is