All of us are presented with moments in which to be a hero. My biggest moment was a year ago when I came across a middle school boy in the road who had fallen off his skateboard and was laying face down, unconscious. I thought he was playing a joke at first and almost didn’t stop. It’s a good thing I did. I wasn’t prepared for that moment. I don’t know if we ever are. It’s true that we have a choice of what to do and whether to step up as the hero. But ethically, I don’t know if we have a choice. We are duty bound to be the hero.
There are so many who have stepped up to be our heroes. Their deeds highlight their noble qualities. Some of these heroes are duty bound by their occupation: firemen, police officers. And yet, some have stepped up beyond that role and filled a void in our community to ensure that those of us in these situations are taken care of in the immediate aftermath. Others simply stepped up because they were neighbors, and they felt a responsibility to protect us, or coordinate for us, or hydrate us. Our community members held us up, gave us strength. Some of my heroes have just given me the space to cry and the shoulder to hold my tears. All of them, all of you, have made us stronger. You are our heroes. And so are our neighbors, who put one foot in front of the other every day, who rebuild, who share their stories.