With the recent 10th anniversary of 9/11, our nation remembered and mourned the loss of so many lives on that tragic day. It was a horrible day for all Americans. Most of us could only watch the events unfold on TV and only help through our vigilant prayers.
I recently came across a small documentary entitled Boatlifters: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience. I was awestruck while witnessing strangers come together to help each other—humanity in one of its finer moments.
On that day 10 years ago, every mode of transportation in and out of lower Manhattan was shut down—bridges, subways, tunnels—all except for boats. Stranded and desperate people were begging to be picked up at the water’s edge, some even attempting to swim to escape the unknown horror scene that played all around them.
The Coast Guard put out a call out for all boaters in the area to assist with evacuation. Hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes came together to rescue nearly 500,000 people in less than 9 hours. It’s the largest water evacuation in history.
A hero is a man who is afraid to run away.
Whatever evil was behind that massive loss of life that day only succeeded in bringing about warriors of compassion and pure human spirit. In the face of danger themselves, these boat captains dropped their concern for their own safety to rescue others. They are true, unsung heroes!
The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. An immense difference.
Photo by Bill Longshaw