Ok guys, the last line in this true story made me cry.
Did you get a lump in your throat?
What makes this story so beautiful is that the guy did not stand around, waiting to be thanked.
And once they tracked him down, he still wanted to stay out of the limelight.
These are the true heros.
Those who do what is right, for right’s sake. And that is enough for them.
I too once stood on a bridge – actually, the top of a small dam – and watched as someone younger
than I was (15?) struggle in the water. I’m ashamed to say I was afraid. Frozen. I was with my best friend and the struggling girl was her younger sister. I was visiting at their lake house and we were at this dam to ride over it in our jeans shorts – something they had done many times before. Her little sister wanted to go first so she jumped in. But something went wrong and the water was too strong and she was grasping for the side of the dam to help pull herself out of the water and I remember just standing there, looking over the bridge, paralyzed. Then my friend jumped in. Then another girl we were with jumped in too. Finally, I jumped in, but by that time my friend had already saved her.
That incident haunts me to this day.
And then I read a story like this and think,
If this happened to me now, would I react the same way, paralyzed and afraid?
Or would I be the first to jump in?
In my mind, it’s this selfless love for others is what makes people, real or imagined, truly heroic.