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A pause for reflection

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?It is a great profession.  There is the fascination of watching a figment
of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper.
Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy.  Then it brings
jobs and homes to men.  Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to
the comforts of life.  That is the engineer?s high privilege.

?The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is
that his works are out in the open where all can see them.  His acts, step
by step, are in hard substance.  He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave
like the doctors.  He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge
like the lawyers.  He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with
trees and vines.  He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings
by blaming his opponents and hope people will forget.  The engineer simply
cannot deny he did it.  If his works do not work, he is damned?

?On the other hand, unlike the doctor his is not a life among the weak.
Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose.  Unlike the lawyer,
quarrels are not his daily bread.  To the engineer falls the job of clothing
the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope.  No doubt as years
go by the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew.  Or
some politician puts his name on it.  Or they credit it to some promoter who
used other people?s money? But the engineer himself looks back at the
unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with
satisfactions that few professions may know.  And the verdict of his fellow
professionals is all the accolade he wants.?

Herbert Hoover

Paul Feather  P.E.
San Diego, California