By Rev. Paul N. Papas II
February 26, 2018
The News is not always good and sometimes it is downright terrifying.
There are terrifying times that try men’s souls. There are times when heroes emerge from the worst tragedies.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham
“The pages of history have proven the absolute truth of this quote by Billy Graham. A courageous act by one brave person can truly inspire others to be courageous. No sane and rational thinking person can dispute the timeless truth of this quote. Brave individuals throughout history have often shown despots and tyrants the hard way that courage is contagious and can spread with amazing quickness once it takes hold.” Stan Burman
Heroes come in all sizes, shapes, and backgrounds. No true hero set out to be a hero. A true hero found himself in a place and circumstance where he knew he had to act. Examples of true heroes can be found in the 3,400 Medals of Honor recipients of our nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation in 1861.
In the recent tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School many questions need to be answered. I’m sure you have heard of the Sheriff Deputies who waited outside hiding behind their police cars while students were being shot inside the school and 17 died.
There are many who tried to help as they were spurred on by one off duty police officer in shorts and a tee shirt. His courage was contagious, as Billy Graham said.
Reporters with the local paper Tribunist wrote what happened next:
“When the fire alarm went off, he didn’t think it was unusual. The panic that ensued changed his mind. When he heard shots, he ran toward the sound of the gunfire.
On the way to the school he found a student who had been shot in the leg. Sgt. Heinrich moved the boy to a dugout and stabilized him with supplies in the baseball team’s first-aid kit.
He then ran back to the school. There, he met a Coral Springs SWAT team member who had extra gear. Sgt. Heinrich threw on an extra vest (one that wasn’t rated to stop rifle fire). The SWAT officer handed over his sidearm so Sgt. Heinrich wouldn’t be unarmed, and they entered the building.
Sgt. Heinrich ran into the chaos. He didn’t wait outside. The officers from Coral Springs [Police Department] led the way. Behind them, paramedics were able to triage and treat the wounded [students]. The SWAT medics from Coral Springs provided crucial support.
[Only then did] the Broward County Sheriff’s Department [go] in after Coral Springs [people].”
Not everyone will face situations as dangerous as those faced by the Medal of Honor recipients or Sgt Heinrich.
Many of us can be heroes to someone at home or in our community by helping where we see a need. You may never receive a medal or make the news and that is okay. In someone’s life you made a positive difference and that is what counts. Real heroes don’t need a ‘Thank you’, but will accept it.
Billy Graham’s Last Message to America & the World…listen carefully…