We as a nation are starving for heroes. So, a quarterback leads a team to a come-from-behind victory, and we call him a hero. Or someone hits a three-point shot at the final buzzer to win by 1, and we call him a hero.
By now you have probably heard about the man who has been dubbed "Subway Superman" or "the Subway Savior." His name is Wesly Autrey, a 50 year old construction worker who lives in New York City -- and he qualifies in my books as a REAL hero. Mr. Autrey and his two young daughters were waiting for their subway car Tuesday morning when he saw a young man have a seizure and fall down into the rails. Looking up, Autrey saw a train coming, so he jumped down into the rails and tried to get the man out. Realizing he had no time, he rolled the man into a small pit in between the rails, and then covered him with his own body -- holding down the man's arms and legs.
The conductor had seen them, and had applied the brakes. However, he was not able to stop until two of the cars had passed over the men. The clearance was just enough. In fact, Mr. Autrey had a grease spot on his wool cap where the train had grazed him as it passed over.
After such a heroic act, I was touched as I saw Autrey interviewed. He was so unassuming about the whole thing. According to him, he had done nothing heroic. He just did what had to be done.
But I am left wondering: If I had been in the same situation, what would I have done? Autrey had a built-in excuse: He had to take care of his two girls. But instead, he put his life on the line to save another man's life. THAT'S a real hero.