Sergeant Schultz, the bumbling German sergeant in the comic TV series, “Hogan’s Heroes” said, “Out of every disaster, some good things come if you look for them.” In light of recent events in Boston, I have felt the urge to do a post on this topic. I am not trying to make light of this horrific disaster. Like you, I have been worried for the safety of my Boston friends. My heart and prayers go out to those that have been affected by this cowardly, inhumane event. I have seen the graphic photos of blood soaked sidewalks and videos of the explosion enveloping the finish line. This tragedy has rocked the nation. It will take us all time to recover from this event, especially those directly affected by it in the city of Boston. But out of wars, genocides, terrorist attacks, and disasters, there are incredible stories that are found. I feel that through disasters, the best is brought out in people. I have seen this already with the attack in Boston. I was amazed at how heroes jumped into action at the Boston marathon explosion. Watching a video, as smoke shot up into the sky, I watched policemen, soldiers, and even marathon runners race over to the scene of the explosion to help in anyway possible. They didn’t seem to care about their own personal safety, but of the well-being of those around them. That, in itself, is the good I have seen come from this disaster.
In tragedy it can be difficult to find the good resulting from an event that took the lives of many innocent people away. Here are twelve good deeds that emerged from some of the world’s deadliest disasters. If you would like to learn more about these incredible stories, just click on the link. At times when gallantry may seem nonexistent, do know that there are heroes all around you.
1. Boston Marathon Hero. Joe Andruzzi, an Ex-NFL player for the New England Patriots, was at the Boston Marathon when the explosion ripped through spectators at the finish line and decided not to stand by.
2. A Lifelong Friend. Ian Holbourn, an Oxford professor, was on the ship RMS Lusitania when it was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915 and helped save the life of a 12-year-old girl named Alvis Dolphin. She became his lifelong friend following the disaster.
3. A Savior In Nanking. During the Rape of Nanking in 1937, a German businessman named John Rabe helped save the lives of 200,000 Chinese civilians from horrible deaths at the hands of Japanese soldiers.
4. The Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo. Rather than find medical help for herself, Admira Ismić stayed with her boyfriend, Boško Brkić, after they had both been shot as they were trying to escape the war in Sarajevo, Bosnia, via the Vrbanja bridge.
5. An A+ Elementary School Teacher. Victoria Soto was a first grade elementary teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School when Adam Lanza began shooting and stopped him from claiming more victims.
Powerful interview with Vicki Soto’s best friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SM7iZ6UgoY
6. True Love. When a shooter began killing moviegoers at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, three boyfriends acted as human shields for their girlfriends.
Heroes from Aurora: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ah7BjyJS8
7. An Icy Swim. When Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the frozen Potomac River in 1982, Lenny Skutnik, seeing a female survivor struggling for life in the water, dove in and pulled her to shore, saving her life.
Go to 5:15 of this video link to see the rescue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXSQ9YGQvOI
8. The Best Hotel Staff. When armed terrorists stormed the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India in 2008, the hotel staff showed just how much they valued their customers.
Brief video on tribute to hotel staff members: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBtUmv6XkYo
9. Faith In Front of A Gun. Cassie Bernall was a student at Columbine High School when two gunman entered the school in 1999 and began murdering school faculty. When approached by them, they told Cassie that if she denied her faith in God she would live.
10. Hotel Rwanda. During the Rwandan genocide, hotel owner, Paul Rusesabagina, used his hotel to save the lives of 1,268 refugees from certain death.
11. A Lifesaving List. Oskar Schindler, an aspiring German entreprenuer, helped save the lives of over 1,000 Jews in Poland by adding them to a list of “essential workers” for his business during the Holocaust.
12. Helping Hands. After Hurricane Sandy totaled the East Coast, thousands of members from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including several of my university friends, helped with the clean up.
There are millions of stories like these out there from all ages of history. What are some you have found?