Essay: Everyday Heroes

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This essay is an original work by Taj. Please comment only on the talk page.

We are bombarded daily with television and internet news reports reporting bad things that people do, so it's easy for ones outlook to become jaded and to lose faith in our fellow man.

However, be of good cheer; the spirit of love and kindness is alive in many.

From coast to coast, all around the U.S.A. come stories of everyday heroes, ordinary people who without pausing for thought, immediately went to the aid of someone in need. Stories like these are inspirational and restore our faith.

Here are some examples:


California teen rescued by bystanders

"A teenager who was buried in 6 feet of sand while digging a trench on a California beach said Thursday he was certain he would die and thought about his mother before lifeguards, paramedics and beachgoers dug him out in a frantic rescue caught on video.

Lifeguards were at the scene almost immediately, followed by paramedics, and bystanders quickly began to help dig, using everything from snorkeling fins to toy shovels, Alferos said. Some surfers came in from the waves to help.

Video taken at the scene by a bystander shows dozens of people digging franticly then Mina being pulled out of the sand, half-conscious, in a black-and-white bathing suit.

"I just remember hearing people and people, like, pulling at me. I didn't expect it," Mina said. "I was surprised when I woke up."

North Carolina

North Carolina beachgoers save New Jersey teen

North Carolina officials are warning beachgoers about burying people in the sand after a 16-year-old nearly drowned when the tide came in over his head.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported that the teenager from New Jersey was buried neck-deep while sitting cross-legged in wet sand at Bald Head Island Sunday afternoon when the tide came in.

Public Safety Chief Chip Munna said beachgoers used plastic shovels to try and dig the boy out. He said bystanders created dams and sand walls to block the waves, and one person found a snorkel so the boy could breathe.

New Mexico

In this incident a man chases down the abductor of a young girl and rescues her:

New Mexico father of 2 saves abducted girl

The timing was just right for saving the life of a 6-year-old girl and for turning a 24-year-old mechanic and father of two young daughters into a hero.

A man came running to us and said, "They stole a little girl." Phillip Garcia, 29, had snatched the girl moments earlier, taking her away in a blue van, police said.

Antonio Diaz Chacon said he was proud to help. While he was chasing the van, he said, he thought of his own two girls, one 7 years old, the other 5 months, and how he would want someone to do the same for him.

"I told him 'I don't know how you could do it, just go after him, not knowing where he's going, what he's going to do?" his wife said. "But he saved a life."

But Diaz says he is not a hero. His wife told CNN, "He says everybody is calling him a hero but he feels he is just a normal person who did something for that little girl that anybody could or should have done."


Utah: Good Samaritans rush to lift vehicle off man injured in car-motorcycle collision. The uncle of a Utah motorcyclist pulled from underneath a burning car by a group of bystanders told his nephew's rescuers Tuesday they are "heroes to our family" after a group of construction workers, students and other bystanders turned into a ragtag team of first responders to save the life of 21-year-old Brandon Wright


Minnesota runner interrupts his race to care for injured competitor

Josh Ripley was running in a recent cross-country for Andover High (Minnesota), when he came across injured Lakeville South runner Mark Paulauskas. He carried him back to the start of the race to receive medical treatment, then went on to complete the race. Paulauskas was rushed to the emergency roomwhere he required 20 stitches and a walking boot on the wounded area. "I didn't think about my race, I knew I needed to stop and help him," Ripley said. "I'm nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time."