Sunday, January 07, 2007

Three Cheers for the "Subway Superman"

In this new millennium the word “hero” has been thrown around quite a bit. It seems everyone today is a hero for just doing their jobs. The term is losing almost all of its meaning. A hero to me is someone who risks everything for a complete stranger; not for the fame or the glory, but because they happen to be the one who sees the need for help. For example, those who died on 9/11 are not all heroes. Most of them are simply victims of a tragedy. The heroes are those who ran into a burning and crumbling building because there might have been people trapped inside. Not everyone dying in Iraq today is a hero. Most of them are victims as well.

The word “hero” has a very specific meaning. I bring this up not to be cruel or politically incorrect, but rather because a real hero is in the news today and the word fully applies to this great person. Wesley Autrey of New York City is a real American hero and he shows just how high a concept hero is.

Wesley Autrey is a 50 year old man who lives in New York and takes the subway to work. On Tuesday a fellow New Yorker, 20 year old Cameron Hollopeter, fell from the subway station platform in Harlem onto the train tracks. Mr. Hollopeter was has having a seizure and was helpless as a train was approaching. Mr. Autrey, without thought of his own safety leapt from the platform and laid atop of Mr. Hollopeter as the train passed centimeters over their bodies. Both men were unharmed in a miracle beyond belief.

In true hero fashion, Mr. Autrey denies the title of “hero” claiming he was only a person in the right place at the right time. He says the real heroes are those fighting in Iraq today. This man is such a hero he cannot see how heroic he really is and is too humble to allow himself to see it. He even went straight from the incident to work, arriving late of course.

I am awestruck by this story to be perfectly frank. I did not believe such selfless acts were possible in today’s world. I really did not believe they were possible in New York City of all places either.

"Good things happen when you do good," Autrey said. "What better way to start a new year than saving a life?"

Amen.

7 comments:

Serena Joy said...

That was such an amazing, truly heroic thing he did! He really is a hero in every sense of the word.

Kanrei said...

I had to write something about him. He is getting almost as much credit as he deserves, but not quite there. Everyone should know his name I think. He had a 99% chance of killing himself. The fact that he only lost a hat is amazing. There is a G_d who watches out for the those who sacrifice.

RexZeitgiest said...

What he did was no doubt 'heroic', but lets look at the obverse side to this action....What if he had been killed right in front of his daughters? How heroic would that have been to leave his children without a father?


The guys acted quickly, selflessly, and without thinking..... but maybe, just maybe, the heroic thing to do would to have been aware of what the reprcussion would have been if he died in front of his children and left them without a father..


Just a thought...

Serena Joy said...

There was that possibility, for sure, Rex. And that would have been a horrible thing to happen. I guess sometimes you just "know" when you're going to be able to do something safely, and maybe this guy's instincts were telling him it would be okay. It truly is miraculous that they both made it out alive.

Rex, WHEN are you going to reopen The Pub?

RexZeitgiest said...

The Pub is over Serena.....I opened it incorrectly....It's a long story but someone else had taken the google account of rexzeitgeist and that is what the Pub was under, when they changed login procedures, I was locked out for good....


I wish you would consider becoming a PWZ contributor....You don't have to post threads, but you can toss in comments when you want....

I got rid of the really nasti elements of the PWZ, you would be suprised at how warm a welcome you would get if you posted there....

Scary Monster said...

Me thinks he was just like one of the guys Me idolized when me was just a little critter.
A regular captain America Not waiting to consider the outcome, but responding to need and distress immediately. We should all strive for such clarity of thought and action.
STOMP

Kanrei said...

Well hello there scary monster. Glad you stopped by.

I agree fully although Rex does have a point. I am thankful it went to good way and we only have to ponder the more horrible outcome.