By Seth Richardson
Tucked away on an inside page of Saturday’s Gazette was an AP story about the kind of heroism that made this nation the best place on earth. When a deranged man began shooting at a group of children on a school playground in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, as many as half a dozen ordinary, unarmed citizens responded just like the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 did on September 11, 2001.
There was no time to plan, no “let’s roll” agreement, these ordinary heroes reacted instinctively, dropped what they were doing and ran full-tilt at the gunman, heedless of their own lives, in order to save the children.
Some of the heroes are unidentified, but Scott Chandler, Carlos Partida and Terry Lynn were identified in the story as having rushed to the defense of the children. I hope we eventually find out the names of everyone who did their duty as civilized human beings, so we can properly reward them for their courage.
It annoys me that this story was relegated to page A8 of the Gazette. It should have been front-page news in every newspaper in the nation. We need heroes right now. As a nation we need to recover the honor and spirit of personal sacrifice and courage that these men exemplify. We need to celebrate them and honor them and encourage our children to be like them.
Heroes made our nation great. They keep our nation great. Our heroes in uniform do it every day. But as important to our national pride as our honoring of our soldiers is recognition of those civilians who risk their lives without a thought to save others.
This includes firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and volunteers in rescue groups nationwide who do the hard work of saving others without thought of risk or reward.
In these times of national distress, when we feel at odds with one another, when we are polarized by political and economic conditions, as we turn in to ourselves in our struggle just to get by, we need to find common cause to celebrate and come together as a people, and this display of courage is just such an event.
Let us not become so jaded and self-centered that the heroism of unarmed civilians rushing an armed man to save others becomes a page eight story.
Make it a banner headline and honor those men with a ticker-tape parade through downtown San Diego, for what they did is as deserving of recognition and honor as walking on the surface of the moon.
© 2010 Altnews