In Heaven, there is a club. The most exclusive club in the world.

Their names are not widely known. They have no monuments, no honors, no streets named after them, no parades. Children do not learn about them in school. Their names are less well-recognized than the average sports star.

And yet we owe them our lives.

Vasili Arkhipov, who prevented a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Stanislav Petrov, who judged reports of a nuclear attack on Russia to be a false alarm and refused to set off the bomb. Karl Landsteiner, who discovered the existence of blood types. Fritz Haber, the father of chemical warfare, on whose discovery of the Haber-Bosch process half the world depends for its food. Carl Bosch, who transformed Haber’s discovery into a practical way of producing fertilizer. Adolph Hustin, Luis Agote, and Richard Lewisohn, who discovered how to store blood for transfusion. Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution.

They call it the One Billion Club.

Today, take a moment to give thanks to these heroes, without whom we would be dead.