Boston — Many women of courage have left an impact on the world. Today, three stand out as deserving special recognition for their contributions: Christa McAuliffe (Concord, N.H.), Corazon Aquino (The Philippines), and Winnie Mandela (South Africa). Mrs. McAuliffe left a comfortable life with family and career for an adventurous stint on orbit to demonstrate to Earth's children what life in space will hold for them. Her motive was selfless; the training discipline no doubt rugged. Despite the tragedy that ensued, the world's people will never forget her courage.
Mrs. Aquino, after her husband's murder in Manila, took up the gauntlet for the Philippine people against their dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a corrupt government, and a communist insurgence. She was a novice against a seasoned politician, yet her intelligence and solid education no doubt strengthened her fight in a brief but tough campaign. She lost the election -- it is assumed by fraud -- and several of her loyal supporters were ambushed and murdered, but she has not lost her courage.
Mrs. Mandela, separated from her husband, Nelson, for almost 25 years since his imprisonment by the white South African government, continues an activist fight for his freedom, and for the freedom of all blacks. After several arrests, she still is not allowed to enter Johannesburg and her nearby home in Soweto due to the country's stringent security laws. She is a symbol of a struggling country full of courage.
Each of the above women faced and dealt with danger; none withdrew from it. Each had the courage to do what was right for her.
We are their beneficiaries. B. Lois McKay Boston