Dan Collins shines a light on the difference between the uncommon hero and the common as dirt villain with this series of links and commentary;
A couple days ago, I mocked a column in the WaPo claiming that (rather like a nagging urinal cake) Anderson Cooper’s coming out will save lives. Naturally, it was heroic, and so forth. Today, another WaPo columnist treats the story of a Park Service mountain rescue specialist who lost his life saving a group of stranded climbers on Mt. Rainier. The man’s name was Nick Hall, and he deserves every plaudit loaded on him. The only problem I have with the piece is the author’s eagerness to try to use Hall’s sacrifice as a means of attacking anyone who has a beef with some government workers:
Here are two words for those who make sport out of bashing federal employees.
In the ultimate demonstration of public service, Hall, a National Park Service climbing ranger, died on Mount Rainier in Washington state last month while rescuing others. A memorial service will be held Friday in Patten, Maine, his home town.
On June 21, Hall and other rangers were assisting climbers who were injured at 13,800 feet on the Emmons Glacier section of the mountain. After helping them into a rescue helicopter, he was trying to secure an empty litter in high winds when he fell 2,500 feet onto the Winthrop Glacier. More here.
Update: My friends over at JTR also have a posting up about heroes and what can happen to someone who uses initiative to save a life or stop a crime. Here’s a brief taste;
When I imagine this sniveling passivity taking an ever-increasing hold of our great nation, only one thing seems certain to me: no one is ever going to write a book or a movie of someone’s heroic submission to superior forces. And I very much doubt we’ll read a thrilling, inspiring account in a future history lesson of the man who stood idly by, watching, while an innocent person died.
A country is only as strong as its citizens. We need to stand up and be strong again, not be “tsk-tskd” into acquiescence.