- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2006

Nobles: Dana Reeve, whose selfless sacrifice was as inspiring as any superman.

There came a moment soon after Christopher Reeve’s horse-riding accident in 1995 which left him almost completely paralyzed when the “Superman” star turned to his wife of just three years and asked her to let him go. Dana, a singer-actress, was on the cusp of a promising career. She was beautiful, talented and young. In his total-dependent condition, Christopher would require constant care for the rest of his life. According to his autobiography, she said, “I’ll be with you for the long haul, no matter what. You’re still you, and I love you.”

It was a promise she would keep for the next 10 years. In that time, Dana devoted her life to taking care of her husband and to the causes he came to be identified with, like paralysis cures and stem-cell research. After he died in 2004, Dana promised to pick up her career where she left it in 1995 and return to acting and performing. Not a year later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died Monday at 44.

The story of the Reeves, who left behind a 13-year-old son, Will, is indeed tragic. But tragedy alone does not necessarily merit nobility. Rather, having the courage to perform one’s duty in spite of tragedy is what makes people truly noble. Dana made a vow, which made no exception for sickness or disability, and her life since then stands as one of the great love stories, because her love didn’t require a “happily ever after.”

For showing what commitment really means, Dana Reeve is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: U.N. envoy Christine Chanet, for excusing Cuba’s oppressive regime.

Proving yet again that something in the water at Turtle Bay makes U.N. employees go completely batty, here’s Mrs. Chanet, a French magistrate, sounding off on human-rights abuses in Cuba: “The extreme tension between Cuba and the United States has created a climate which is far from conducive to the development of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly” in Cuba, she said Tuesday, according to Reuters. She expressed her alarm “at the allegations of ill-treatment in detention” centers on Fidel Castro’s Communist paradise.

Two things: How old is Mrs. Chanet? Old enough to know that she has no excuse for being “alarmed” at allegations that Mr. Castro mistreats his prisoners. Second, is she serious? Only at the United Nations could the United States be blamed for what Mr. Castro does to his own people.

For the “extreme tension” between her and reality, Mrs. Chanet, U.N. envoy, is the Knave of the week.

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