Won Over By Reality
By Tim Bayer
BRIGHTON New York—(Weekly Hubris)—4/22/2013—The first bomb explodes and then a second. There are hundreds of people running. Most are running away from the danger, but there are those who are running straight into the danger, as well.
I don’t have sports heroes and I don’t collect autographs. The people who are on my list of heroes are those who run into danger, risking their lives to save and protect others. Many are in the armed forces, the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard—as well as those we call our “first responders”—police, firemen and EMTs. These are my heroes.
As it happens, I have had a personal connection to two senseless acts of violence over the course of the last four months. One occurred in Boston, hundreds of miles away from me; the other, here in my hometown of Webster, New York.
On April 15, 2013, my friend, Dave DiMartino, was in Boston with his family to watch his wife, Mona, run in the Boston Marathon. The bombing injured Peter and Gina, who are Dave and Mona’s two children.
On December 24, 2012, my brother, brother-in-law, and many of my friends who are members of the West Webster Fire Department were responding to a fire on Lake Road in Webster when a coward and murderer ambushed the first firemen to arrive on the scene [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgsttOvBDAs]. Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were killed; two other firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter, were seriously wounded.
When the last of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were apprehended, there were people standing in the street cheering the police and first responders. For years, I have been supporting and complementing those whom I view as our true American heroes. I was pleased to see that others were also cheering.
The next time you encounter one of these brave people, perhaps you can take a moment to thank them. It’s exceedingly easy. Simply walk up and say a heartfelt, “Thank you for your service.” The gesture will be appreciated.
With luck, you yourself may never be in a position where you’re depending on a hero for your survival. But, if you are, you will be happy to see someone, perhaps a total stranger, running into danger—for you.