There are real-life superheroes all around us. People who have accomplished amazing things, sometimes in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. They are people who have made a difference in their communities and the world, and they serve as an inspiration to us all. In this article, we will explore the lives of some famous real-life superheroes and what makes them so extraordinary.
When a fire broke out and spread quickly, engulfing an entire apartment complex in Detroit, the firefighters responded immediately. But when their water hoses didn’t work, they knew they had to come up with another way to put out the flames. As seen in this video, Detroit firefighter Eric Smith ran into the burning building and emerged carrying a woman over his shoulder. With all of the smoke and heat surrounding them, he took steps away from the flames before putting her down and going back for more victims. “I just kept hearing [the children], ‘Help us! Help us!'” said Smith in an interview. “They were my main concern,” he said. But it wasn’t just the children Smith saved. He also rescued a man and a woman, who can be seen in the video being carried over his other shoulder.
“I’m glad I went in first to get those two kids,” he said. “They were young kids, it’s not going to do any good for them to die.” Although Smith has been called a hero, he maintains that he was just doing his job: saving people from dangerous situations. People like Smith are what makes this world such an incredible place to live in.
After police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year old Michael Brown, Ferguson descended into chaos as protestors took to the streets following the announcement of no indictment. Some stores were looted and burned, and police responded with riot gear and tear gas. But amidst the chaos, some Ferguson citizens distinguished themselves as heroes during the tense moments of the protests.
The Brown family posted a thank you on social media to those who worked to keep the peace at night: “Thank you to all that sacrificed your sleep last night so our community could remain peaceful!”
One couple was out for dinner when they heard about the verdict. Instead of returning home through town, where protestors were gathered, the couple decided instead to drive into Ferguson in an attempt to help. Although they came under gunfire from protestors, this brave woman stood tall and kept people back with her purse strap. She ended up saving one civilian by blocking his escape and keeping him from coming under fire, and eventually, she and the citizen she protected were able to make their way out of the danger.
When three women were abducted in Cleveland, Ohio, and held captive for a decade each, police discovered them when the calls came in about a woman attempting to escape through a screen door with her hands restrained. After officers arrived on the scene, they entered the home where they found not only that woman but Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, who had both been missing since 2003.
What made so many people stand up and take notice however was Charles Ramsey, a local dishwasher whose voice can be heard in this video as he tells reporters how he helped save Amanda Berry and brought her to safety. Charles Ramsey and the officers who responded were credited with saving these three women from a decade of captivity and abuse, and more importantly for giving them their lives back.
The Beardless Hero:
In 2012, a gunman entered a school in Toulouse, France. After shooting several children at point-blank range, he seized a teacher as a hostage and escaped by car after retrieving his weapons from the scene. Following a two-day search, police surrounded him on an overlook where they exchanged gunfire with the suspect until he charged toward them with his gun pointed directly at them. In this video, you can see one officer grab the terrorist by his throat and wrestle him to the ground before handcuffing him.
Moments like these remind us all about how dangerous and unpredictable everyday life can be and why we need heroes, even if they aren’t wearing capes. Now more than ever we need to celebrate the courageous men and women who risk their lives for others, not just on 9/11, but every day as well. As Charles Ramsey said, “I was a dishwasher, but I’m a living legend.”