Friday, January 05, 2007

Heroes and Big City Values

I know this story has already received coast-to-coast coverage but I thought I would end this week on a high note.

Most people have a limited view of New York City and its residents. What they know is learned from TV shows and news broadcast. Unless you live here, you might not realize that New York City is made up of many smaller communities which have the same values that could be found in small towns across the country.

Integrity, compassion and heroism are no scarcer on the sidewalks of Chicago or Harlem than they are in Dubuque. If anyone doubts this, they should consider Wesley Autrey's heroic turn at the 137th Street and Broadway subway station this week.

Autrey, a construction worker who lives in the neighborhood, was riding the subway with his 6- and 4-year- old daughters when a young film student had a seizure on the platform. He and two women went to help the man, Cameron Hollopeter, 20, but Hollopeter stumbled while he was getting up and fell onto the tracks.

As a No. 1 train approached, Autrey jumped down onto the tracks and lay on top of Hollopeter, pushing into a space that was about a foot deep. Five cars traveled over the two men before the train screeched to a halt. It passed just inches above Autrey's head, leaving grease on his knit cap.

Autrey's instinctive willingness to put his life on the line is not something most people would expect to encounter in New York City. But then, the negative stereotypes about New York have never stood up to the facts.

Uncharitable? New York ranks first in a newly released state-by- state study of giving by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Less committed than the rest of the country to America's defense? New York City has lost more of its residents in battle in Iraq than the average state. Not willing to come to the aid of strangers? Autrey put that one to rest in dramatic fashion.

Small-town values are certainly an important part of what makes America great, but so are big-city values, which in many cases are exactly the same


At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story AC, and excellent way to enter the weekend:>) I think the fact that he was spending time with his kids also speaks volumes.

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that Autrey receives commendations for his heroic deeds. He's a shining example of a real down to earth, caring person.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that Autrey receives commendations for his heroic deeds. He's a shining example of a real down to earth, caring person.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to NYC twice for short stays. I had a GREAT time. The people were wonderful, despite the fact that some native New Yorkers who had left the city had told us not to go.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This man is still a hero but he should wear clothing worthy of a true hero LL Beamish. If Mr Beamish was around the headlines would be who was that gasmasked man.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

It can easily be overwhelming eb. Some people get tired of the noise and activity level and of course some bad things happen here...just as anywhere else.

beak...I hope gas masks never catch on in NYC. Mr. Beamish needs some different accessories.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger American Crusader said... far Mr. Autrey has received the Bronze Medallion from New York City and Mayor Bloomberg and Donald Trump awarded him $10,000.
He has also been on the David Letterman show...which I unfortunately missed.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Urban Infidel said...

We need heroes like this everyday.

Only God knows how they survived. There isn't much space under the train between the tracks.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

Wow! Is that impressive or what? He certainly was an earth angel to that man. God bless him!

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Such an uplifting story! I'm glad that you've posted on this. It can't be told too often.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Hearing it again is just another opportunity to have my spirits lifted.

Thanks, AC!

At 3:07 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Outstanding! Thanks AC, I don't watch the news much, so I only caught snippets. This is a man I would be delighted to shake the hand of! He is a true American Hero, long may his tribe increase!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


At 9:26 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

thanks AC..I cant get enough of this guy!..:)

At 8:34 AM, Blogger John Brown said...

Isn't it cute that Bloomberg gave him a medal. Anything for some good press during a rough time if you're a shameless hack, I suppose.

Bloomberg is an apologist for Pigs who murder unarmed Black people.

This little photo op is a shameless ploy meant to conceal that fact from the very people under assault by the NYPD.

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

john brown plank meet eye again (shameless hack for murderers???)

get a clue jb then get a life

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Yeah, God forbid that the black hero get an award for an act of selfless heroism on his own merit...

So in order to not be racists we have to totally ignore black people?


At 3:50 PM, Blogger John Brown said...

Babbling Brooke,

The guy deserves all the awards he's received.

It's just hypocritical for someone so invested in destroying Black people gets up to bloviate about how moral the guy was.

Then again, what do you expect from Vanilla Sam?

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find more intellectual squabble from my middle school kids than this brown character. I truly enjoyed my visit to NYC, to much traffic for me. Really doesn't surprise me, look at the heriocs of 9/11

At 5:28 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

So it's only OK if a black guy presents him with the award?


At 8:19 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

You can't have it both ways JB.
On one hand you say that Bloomberg is a hypocrite for awarding Autrey...while at the same time saying that he deserves the awards.
If Bloomberg had not honored Autrey, I'm sure that would also have been criticized.


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