Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed.
-Governor Bob Riley
Is a hero one who wears a cape?
Is a hero one who leads others?
Is a hero one who has inspires?
Is a hero one who sacrifices?
Is a hero one who has extraordinary abilities?
They all can be heroes. Yet there is a consistent theme throughout these roles. Heroes inspire us to sacrifice ourselves for others. The recipients of our sacrifice vary, and the impact of our actions can change but the legitimacy does not.
Eleven years ago today America was brutally attacked. For those of you who are too young to remember, terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and flew them into World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The fourth plane aimed at the U.S. Capitol.
There were 2,977 people who died as a result of the terrorist’s actions eleven years ago. Of those, 343 were emergency responders in New York City, men and women who had made a choice to be heroes. Fire Department Chief Ganci and Fire Commissioner Feehan died at their posts as the South Tower collapsed upon them. Other times the heroes were entire teams. Ladder Company 3 and Rescue Company 1 were emergency firefighter units which lost the majority of their members in the attacks.
Father Mychal Judge was another. Father Judge was a New York City Firefighter
chaplain. As the news of the tragedy spread he rushed
through the smoke and fire to ground zero. As he did, he brushed paths with
Mayor Giuliani. The mayor grabbed his hand and said “Pray for us!” “I always
do, I always pray for you” was the Fathers reply.As the South Tower was evacuated and he was called on to leave, he replied “My work here is not finished,” and stood in the lobby praying and assisting victims and firefighters. As he watched the victims fall from the towers and crash to the street below one of the last people who saw him alive watched him praying for each one as they fell. He was killed as the tower crushed him in its collapse and he is listed as the first victim of 9/11.He was a hero, yet there were many more.
|Father Judge being carried from the World Trade Center.|
Todd Beamer was not a hero by choice, but when presented with the moment, he donned the mantle of hero as valiantly as the firemen hundreds of miles away. He was an account manager for Oracle. When he discovered that the plane he was one had been hijacked, he gathered several other passengers, Jeffery Glick, Thomas Burnett Jr., and Mark Bingham, and with the words that became the battle cry of heroes, “Let’s Roll” stormed the cabin that had been taken by hijackers to try and retake the plane. As a result, flight 93 crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, most likely saving the U.S. Capitol building.
These men and women should never be forgotten. They should be placed in the pantheon of American Heroes who God has graciously given us. They embody the Biblical principle from John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
This is what it means to be a hero, and I submit that we don’t have enough of them today. It doesn’t take special abilities, publicity, or a cape, just the willingness to do what is needed, when it is needed, because it is needed.
In memory of the men and woman who gave their lives on September 11, 2001, Liberty’s Call will be running a series entitled Heroes. Throughout the coming two months, Generation Joshua staff, Leadership Corp members, and invited guests will be writing about who their hero is, and why. By doing this we hope to inspire every person who reads this to examine their lives, and think about how they can be a hero. Maybe it is standing up for the unborn and volunteering for a pro-life candidate this fall. Maybe it is spending your free time by volunteering at your church, or with a local little league team. Maybe God is calling you to join the military, to become a firefighter or a police officer. Maybe you simply need to step up and be the best you can be at what you do. Whatever you are called to do, it is our firm belief that all of us have a little bit of hero running through our veins. So with that in mind, I want to quote a great hero, a man who did the most he could with what he was given. “Let’s Roll.”