Tuesday, January 21, 2014


For Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Jungle Red Writers, the Reds discussed heroes, asking who should be remembered as hero in future generations. As I commented, I hesitate to call anyone a hero because the term is so loaded. After some thought, I put in a word for Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, January 15, 2009. Despite emergency-landing in the Hudson River, all 155 passengers and crew aboard survived.

Since the incident, Sullenberger hasn't sought to cash in on his fame, maintaining that he and his crew followed emergency procedure while emergencies typically cause people to panic and go against procedure. Commemorating Flight 1549's fifth anniversary, Sullenberger said he couldn't celebrate the occasion if even one life had been lost.

When people are called heroes, we may look for the same heroism in all aspects of their lives and not find it. Then again, any display of good judgment when needed most—even just one in a checkered lifetime—can't be dismissed. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who inspires others to good judgment or selfless acts is, in a sense, also a hero.

1 comment:

John DuMond said...

Good choice, Gerald. Capt. Sullenberger definitely fits my definition of a hero: grace under pressure. Extreme pressure, in this case. And while he never attempted to cash in on his celebrity, he did make a cameo appearance in a Chickenfoot video. Not that I blame him. I'd be in one of their videos if they asked me. :)