People From Around The World Share Stories Of Their Personal Heroes

People From Around The World Share Stories Of Their Personal Heroes

Heroes come in many forms. The real ones don't wear skin-tight suits. They weren't built in laboratories or bit by radioactive spiders. They're just ordinary people who feel called to help their fellow humans in difficult spots. That may not sound as exciting as flying faster than a speeding bullet, but in a selfish world it's almost more miraculous.

These folks from around the world recently took to the internet to share the stories of their personal heroes and what makes them so special.

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25. Every good dad is a superhero

There are a nearly endless number of stories that I could tell about my father.

Throughout my entire childhood, the man was everything from an amateur magician to an insightful educator. When I wanted to create a "real lightsaber," he helped me design and build the thing (which really just turned out to be a particularly unsafe flashlight) from scratch. If ever I was curious about some detail in the world, he'd devise an experiment that we could run together... with some of those experiments seeming to involve real magic.

Still, perhaps the most important thing that my father ever did for me was teach me how to think. Whenever I needed help with something – regardless of what form the issue took – he would run through the same script with me:

"What's the problem?" he'd ask. "Why is it a problem? What's causing the problem? How can you fix it?" If my answer to any of those questions was "I don't know," he'd encourage me to reexamine the situation.

For example, I got a stereo for my birthday when I was about ten years old, and the CD player stopped functioning after only a couple of weeks. Rather than simply fixing it for me, my father supervised my attempts at diagnosing and repairing the malfunction, using those aforementioned questions as a guide. I can remember carefully extracting screw after screw, exposing the inner electronics of the music-player... and thoroughly failing to find anything noticeably wrong with the system. Strangely enough, though, the damned thing started working again after I'd put everything back together, leading my father to offer another life lesson.

"Sometimes," he told me, "if you look at a problem closely enough, it will solve itself. Other times, you have to take a step back and look at the situation as a whole."

It took me quite a few years before I realized what I actually learned in those moments, since each scenario seemed pretty unique to me at the time. As I've gotten older, though, I've come to understand what I was actually being taught, and why it was such a valuable skill: There's very little that you can't accomplish if you're willing to figure it out on your own... but sometimes, the real challenge is in changing the way that you're looking at things.

I also learned to make sure that my stereo's speakers were actually connected.

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24. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Mr Rogers. My parents were both diagnosed with cancer (brain cancer, breast cancer) within 30 days of each other when I was a kid. We didn't have family in the area to look after my sister and I. My parents were too sick to take care of me, and they both had to take medications for YEARS on and off with devastating depression side effects. So anyway, I would just sit down in front of the TV and watch Mr. Rogers. I love my parents, but the truth is he was the only adult in my life who was always there for me. Always.

My mother made a full and so far permanent recovery. My dad received cutting edge treatment at UCSF (my other heroes) for his brain tumor and lived for another 14 years before it came back. Worth mentioning that Mr. Rogers also single-handedly saved public television. I mean that quite literally. Congress was going to scrap funding for it. Then Mr. Rogers came in and testified before them and changed everyone's minds.

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23. Life is worth living

My brother.

He broke his neck in '80 (same as Reeve) at 16. I watched as my mother and a complete stranger pull him from the ocean and bring him back to life.

Doctors said he would never make it past 20...then 25...then 30.

That tough dude lived to be 53.

Through all of it, never complained, never said, "I want to die." Had the best sense of humor, and lived life to the fullest.

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22. The dog whisperer

I had just adopted a large German shepherd/lab mix that night and brought him outside of my apartment to pee. I didn't have the right collar /didn't realize he'd never seen traffic before so he immediately panicked, backed out of his collar and sprinted across the 4 lane (very busy) road in front of my apartment.

I ran after him, dodging traffic, and miraculously got him to come back to me...but he wouldn't let me put the collar back on I was just kneeling on the sidewalk in my pajamas, clutching this giant terrified dog, traffic speeding past me wondering how in the world I was going to get him back inside.

And then this random guy appeared in a very nice suit and jacket and asked if I needed help. I basically said, 'Yes, can you carry my dog back into my building?' and without a second thought, he reached down, scooped up my giant dog like a baby and walked with me back into my apartment, brushed himself off and said he was late for a dinner. I gave him a hug and he walked off. He was amazing and I think about him all the time.

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21. Welcome to the family

My father in law accepted me into his very conservative, traditional family even though at the time I didn't have a job, had no savings to speak of, and came from a different country to live under his roof with no real plan. It took me several years to get on my feet and he never did or said a single thing to make me feel unwelcome or small, even though he could have easily done so.

He celebrated all of my small successes and helped us out financially at key moments, even though he was not at all wealthy. He did this because he trusted his daughter's choice, even though in our culture marriages are usually arranged and a woman's opinion counts for less than a man's, and also, I like to think, because I worked really hard to make a good impression on him and let him know how grateful I am.

He's a good guy guy and has taught me a lot.


20. Only one person reacted

I was 15 years old and had just started my first part time job. During my lunch break I was sitting on a bench texting my friend when this old man suddenly put his hand on my thigh and started stroking me. I yelled, "Stop touching me!" and immediately got up. I felt scared, alone and incredibly vulnerable.

Only ONE person reacted. He came over and asked me if everything was okay. I was shaking and just said that I had to get back to work. He then offered to follow me so that I wouldn’t have to walk by myself.

He made me feel somewhat safe in a very scary situation. So yeah, that dude is my hero.

But also I believe more people should do this. It shouldn’t be heroic, it should be commonplace. It’s terrifying that no one else reacted. It scares me that there’s a high likelihood that no one would have done a single thing. Everyone should be more like that guy. Don’t be a bystander and remember this man if you ever see any situation where someone needs help.

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19. One small step for dad

My stepdad. When I was a child, I had an asthma attack and went to hospital. I was kept in overnight, but I was too scared to sleep. He climbed into the bed with me and held me until I fell asleep. He always made me feel safe.

He came into my life when I was a one-year-old and couldn't have loved me, my brother, or my mother, more. He was the kind of man who would do anything for anyone - and came to my rescue more times than I can count. He's who I want to be when I'm older.

He died from cancer two days ago. The world without him seems impossible but, because of him, I'm not scared. No, I'm not scared of anything anymore.

See you in the next one, Pop. Love you.

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18. Where would we be without friends?

She’ll never see this but my hero is my adult best friend. She’s a wife, mother of two, full-time employee and part-time student. She is the money maker and planner of her family and extended family. I’m just blown away by her ambitious attitude and ability to keep everything on track with a positive attitude. She didn’t come from a well off family but has provided ten fold for her kids and even for her brothers. She’s taken in people in bad situations and housed them til they get on their feet (or pushed them to do so)

Though this isn’t why she’s my hero... she’s my hero because despite all of that she’s continues to make time for me daily. None of my problems are too small and there’s nothing she hasn’t been there for. Even though we live 4 hours away she makes time and drive to be with me. We take turns visiting each other, no less than two months apart.

I met her and her family because of a relationship I’m no longer in. Since the day we met we’ve clicked and everyday I look up to her. She keeps me going in my darkest times and have held me when I had no one else. We’ve traveled the country and she’s let me into her kids' lives.

I called her one night crying my eyes out... my long-term boyfriend had dumped me. Without  hesitation she told me her husband and herself would be there to help me move everything out and she would drive me (4hrs) back to my parents. I never ask for her to do anything...she just does it. Not only did they come down, they pretty much packed everything for me and her husband drove my car while I rode with her. THEN 4 weeks later made time to met me again to grab the rest of my stuff.

Every day she’s my hero for being a light in this dark life. Even if today we stopped speaking and never spoke again, she’d be forever a hero to me.

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17. Hero and he didn't even know it

So one day I'm in technology class (this was back when "technology" wasn't in the classroom, you had to bring the class TO the technology) and the teacher is showing us how to do something. This teacher played favorites and she was always asking me to answer questions or go to the board to do something.

One day I have a random tent in my pants (it happens a lot to boys in middle school) that I was trying to ignore when the teacher calls my name to solve something on the whiteboard.

"Why does he always get called on?!" this random kid shouted out.

The teacher looked caught off guard for a moment (maybe she didn't realize she played faves?) and then said, "I didn't mean to, how about you solve this one?"

He went up to the board and saved me some embarrassment. Looking back on it I don't know if I would've awkwardly tried to get out of going up there or if I would have gone up and tried to somehow hide my condition. Don't know how I would've done that either, it was one of them hard all the way to the tip ones you get in your youth.

We're in our 30's now, the guy joined the Marines after high school and moved away. We're still friends on Facebook and one day a couple years ago he posted something about being depressed so I told him the story of how he saved me. I hope it cheered him up a little.

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16. The real dad is the one who sticks around

My dad. My biological father took off when I was young. When my mother met and married my dad. He treated me great, never tried to push himself on me. In third grade, I asked him to adopt me. Since we didn't have a lot of money, he worked 2-3 jobs at a time so they could afford it. He reminds me always that he loves me and has almost punched a few lousy relatives who called me his "step-son". He corrects them very quickly that I am in fact his son. I'm very proud of him and hope to become the type of man he is.

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15. Tough love

My first grade teacher. My kindergarten teacher did bugger all to teach us anything and would mislead my parents about my progress in class, so I went into first grade barely able to read, write, and despite being well behaved at home, I was kind of a troublemaker at school.

My bad attitude went away real quick when I got to 1st grade. After many stern talks, calls to my parents, and timeouts, (I still remember the faded white and green mat she had in the corner 25+ years later) if stopped being a little jerk. She would work with me every day to improve my reading, and kept pushing me to work harder. By the end of 1st grade I was reading at a 3rd grade level.

When I was a kid, I would have told you she was my least favorite teacher. I hated having to take my free time to do extra work with her. I just wanted to play with blocks with my friends.

Now, I look back on it fondly. I'm not sure who I'd be without her today. The next time I had a teacher like her who was willing to put in the extra time with a student wasn't until 11th grade. I wish there were more teachers like her.

Sadly, she passed away about 8 years ago. She actually taught my sister, my mom, and a couple uncles, so she'd been around a while by the time I got to her. But I did thank her several years before she passed.

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14. The kindness of strangers

A young woman who came to my rescue one night. My terrible ex had just thrown me out of my home and I had everything I could manage to grab on me. I had no money because said ex managed to financially cripple me as well.

I was sitting at the train station crying my eyes out when my ex turned up and started screaming at me. I was rescued by this woman who was working at the train station. She made sure my ex knew she was there; he didn't like to show his real self in front of others, so he went away.

She lent me money to stay in a hostel for the night and gave me some food and a couple of cans of soda.

She was only about 20 and didn't have to get involved. I hope nothing but good happens in her life.

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13. To the marrow

My oldest nephew, at age 11, donated his bone marrow to his little brother who was dying from leukemia. I was away at college and I asked over 20 people I knew if they would consider joining Be the Match as they could potentially save someone's life. Every single person I asked, except for one who wasn't allowed due to a medical condition, told me that they wouldn't sign up because they were afraid it would hurt. Even after I explained the new, less invasive and less painful procedures, they maintained their stance.

I just couldn't understand the logic. For me personally, I just think about how suffering from cancer and all the treatments involved is so much worse than a few hours of your life donating bone marrow that could potentially save somebody else.

My younger nephew ended up dying at age 8, as we learned he had a genetic mutation in which the cancer would keep coming back, no matter what. However, he was an outlier, and so many other people have lived long and healthy lives after receiving bone marrow from a donor.

To this day, my nephews are my biggest real life heroes. My older nephew for his strength and bravery when all of my adult friends had none, and my younger nephew for how hard he fought and how he made the most out of his time here.

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12. Nothing can beat a tough old lady

My grandma was the baddest lady I ever knew. She gave birth at home 18 times on her own with just one other woman there to catch the baby. My grandpa tried his whole life to convert her to his religion but she died without budging. She suffered abuse, losses and many medical problems until she was brave enough to say she was tired and ready to go. The last week she was alive, she told my mom that she saw death coming for her in her dreams but she wasn’t afraid. She inspires me every day to be a strong mother for my kids and a strong person for myself.

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11. Nun of the above

I was an outpatient in a psych ward (I went from 9am-4pm) when I was 14 due to my depression and anxiety which made going to school impossible. I was a very shy, timid person, never spoke, spent most of my time with the other kids pretending to read.

In this psych ward, you went to the on-sitye school from 9-1 and then into the ward for the other three hours (if you were a day patient) before going home. During the school day, you'd spend a lot of time being pulled out to meet with different therapists, one of which ended up being a nun.

She reminded me of my nana, which immediately led me to like her. She was basically a self confidence coach to me. She noticed how much I hunched up and taught me proper posture. She made us play games of throwing cushions back and forth because of how scared I seemed to be to touch literally anything. She once tried getting me to get out my built up anger by punching a cushion, but I point-blank refused because 'the cushion did nothing wrong'. As someone with autism, I tend to feel empathetic towards inanimate objects (like I'll feel guilty if I wear one coat more than my others, for instance).

I spent a total of ten weeks in that psych ward before being transferred to an inpatient unit (the one I was at had a 16+ policy for inpatients) and during our time together, I really did come out of my shell. I opened up a lot more, let myself laugh and experience emotion, became more sure and trusting. The lady was a, pun intended, godsend. We even discussed our different religious beliefs (I was an athiest, now agnostic, who was brought up Catholic) and how she believed that regardless of faith, we all come from the one place and what matters most is having a good heart. I really loved that.

During our last session together, she gifted me with a stuffed dog. His paws had that kind of microbead texture to them and she told me when I felt overwhelmed I could squeeze his paws. She joined the group for tea that day and she asked if I had a name for him. I chose Sammy, short for Samaritan, because like the Bible story of The Good Samaritan - she was a kind stranger who helped me despite our different backgrounds and beliefs. I love her and hope she's still thriving. Sammy still sits on my bed, and I've crocheted him a whole collection of knitwear.

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10. Carry each other

My best friend. She lives one continent away, and still to this day doesn't know just how amazing she is. Not that I don't try to tell her! We met during our MSc in Aberdeen, while I was extremely ill. I wasn't really well enough to make most of my classes and was usually late. So one day we were both late and became lab partners, as everybody else was paired up; I've never been so lucky.

As I deteriorated, she visited me almost every day, making sure I was still here. Making me cups of tea, which is impressive for an American. I was very close to ending it as the pain got worse, I was no longer sleeping or eating. But she was always there, this tiny little 5 foot woman, spunky as anything. She burst into my room, sat me down and just talked to me.

Inevitably when I ended up in hospital, finally having the operations I needed to help fix me... She was there... When I had to leave my course, she came and visited me. See it wasn't that she could burst through walls or some other rubbish, she is simply one of the kindest human beings I've ever met. At every turn where I needed somebody, she was there.

Finally, after 3 years, I have enough money to fly over and see her in a month, I can't wait. I just want to sweep her up into a great big hug and tell her how much I've missed her.

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9. Dad jumps without a thought

A few years ago my family and some friends and I were heading home on our boat after having spent the day anchored in a popular swimming cove. It was an hour or so before sunset so the waters were pretty busy with people heading back to their slips. Most notably there were two jet skiiers who were rocketing around in our wake, trying to get air. They must have gotten bored of this and decided to pass us.

They speed up and there is one on either side of our boat. They were starting to get dangerously close, so My father's friend (an ex-navy pilot) who is driving, honks the horn a few times and tries to wave them off. No response - either they don't hear or they don't care. Just as my father's friend says he is going to slow down to let these idiots get ahead of us, one of the jet skiiers, who is apparently unaware of the boat's presence, cuts hard to his right... directly into the path of our boat.

My father's friend can't swerve to avoid him without running the other jet skiier over and there is no way he can stop in time to let the jet skiier go in front... So he cuts the engine and goes hard to the left knowing it's better if the idiot hits the the hull instead of the bow. The sound of the engine being cut FINALLY catches the attention of the dude we are about to run over MILLISECONDS before the impact. He has just about enough time to see the boat and them WHAM.

There is an awful shuddering sound and then thudding all along the bottom of the boat. At this point we had glided to a stop and my mother had ushered all the smaller children into the cabin because we had no idea what this was going to look like. We are all scanning the water when we see the mangled jet ski jump out of the water about 30 feet behind us; a moment later, the jet skiiers body does the same. The guy was floating face down, not moving. My mother started screaming, I nearly passed out and my father's friend was already on the radio for help.

But my father? Without hesitation the man dove into the water fully clothed (shoes, wallet, sunglasses - everything) and started swimming toward what appeared to be a dead body and a jet ski now leaking fuel into the water. I start screaming for him to come back - the water we were in was 30 feet deep and there was gas everywhere. I was terrified...

My father made it to the body, shook the guy and turned him over. The jet skiier's head lolled. My father then pinched the guys nose and gave him mouth to mouth until he sputtered back to consciousness. Almost immediately, the jet skiier started flailing in panic (probably having a delayed reaction to having seen a boat about to run him over).

That's when he pushed my father underwater. My father got away and swam back up. He just said, "Don't make me hit you," and the jet skiier calmed down a little. Until he saw the tangle of metal that was once his jet ski, that is... The jet skiier (who we found out later had shattered his collar bone and most of the bones in right arm AND leg) started trying to swim toward the jet ski. My father tried to hold him back but didn't want to hurt him - the jet skier managed to get back to the jet ski and STARTED TO TRY TO TURN IT BACK ON.

My father started screaming because he knew that if anything in that engine moved that the explosion would likely kill them both AND his family and friends floating nearby. That's when my father grabbed the guy by the life jacket and dragged him away from the wreckage. Once they got a few feet out he held onto the guy with one hand and took off the shirt he was wearing with the other. Meanwhile the jet ski idiot was so delirious from the accident that he STILL kept trying to swim back to the jet ski. My father then proceeded to tie the delirious idiot's arms to his sides and drag him back to our boat.

My Dad is pretty 'effin tough.

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8. That's why you should always be nice to your driver

This is my dad's story.

In 1970 in Bangladesh, there was a lot of turmoil due to the war for independence and my father was a university student. Back then, University students were sought by Pakistani officers especially so because they tended to cause more problems for the Pakistani army. Because of this very reason, my father kept two ID cards on him, one was his University ID and the other was a fake salesman's ID he kept on him, he even grew a mustache and combed his hair to the side to stick with his salesman's facade.

On his way home towards his home village, my dad had gotten stopped by a Pakistani Officer who immediately asked for his ID, my dad reacting with little time, pulled out the student ID by accident instead of the Salesman's ID. The Officer immediately pulled him to the side. The officer asked my dad if he was a freedom fighter to which my dad replied he wasn't. The officer then showed an ID of one of my dad's friends and the officer said he had killed him earlier that day.

My dad at that point was distraught and that's when my grandfather showed up. He was already into his 70's and was a frail man. After my grandfather tried reasoning with the officer, the officer hit him in the stomach with the butt of his rifle.

The officer then put my father up against a wall and commanded three of his soldiers to execute my dad. Right afterward, Ali, my dad's driver (it's a commonplace practice for the middle class to have drivers) ran up to the officer and told him, "These are good people you're killing, You're most certainly going to be punished by God for killing him." The officer then considered this for a moment and decided to let my father go. So Ali the driver saved my father's life.

If it wasn't for that driver, my dad would have been dead that day, and I never would have been born.

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7. Tom, the casual life saver

I was about 10 when: my dad was driving, a friend of his was in the passenger seat ("Tom") and I in the back, late at night, and we drive up to damaged van and a flaming car standing in the middle of the motorway - obviously a crash. Flaming... I mean, this car had flames everywhere, it was fully ablaze. The van driver was sitting on the median, in shock, apathetic.

We stopped of course, and a guy runs up asking whether anyone has a phone (these were the old days, phones were rare). My dad has one, and calls emergency services, describes the scene, gives all the info, etc... This takes a few minutes, and just as dad hangs up, the passenger door opens, and "Tom" (with blackened face) sits down. We hadn't even noticed he was gone. Apparently when the car stopped, he immediately got out, ran over to the burning car, pulled out three unconscious teenagers and laid them on the shoulder... Like a boss. Others then set about doing first aid.

We all drove off again when the ambulance arrived. Dad obviously did the right thing, calling emergency and staying with his kid, so no disrespect. But "Tom" was the hero. The teenagers, I guess, never knew who saved their lives.

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6. Into a hale of gunfire

Mid-way through my tour in Iraq, we were ambushed at the end of a patrol. The lead humvee was flipped by an IED and caught fire. Two Marines of the five riding in it were killed, but we didn't know this right away.

The vehicle commander, riding shotgun, couldn't open his door from the way the humvee landed when it flipped. While the vehicle burned, he squeezed over the instruments next to him and out the driver's side. When he came out, he was engulfed in flames. The whole front half of the patrol started taking machine-gun fire, as they were stopped in the kill zone due to the flipped humvee.

A junior Marine, a lance corporal, jumped from the back of the second humvee, ran through the machine-gun fire and dragged the burning vehicle commander behind cover to put out the flames. The vehicle commander suffered third degree burns on 60-70% of his body, and lost most of his fingers, but survived to go home to his wife and three kids.

The whole incident happened quickly and was, like much of combat, indescribably surreal. The Marine who dragged the VC to safety received a medal for his heroism, but not as prestigious as he deserved, IMO. Probably due to his low rank. Obviously, he never complained.

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5. Never too sick to help out

I work for one of my closest friends. I run his office. His wife used to, but she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that is comparable to rheumatoid arthritis on steroids. She is on so many different medications that she cannot hold a conversation more than two minutes. I have to take her to her arthritis center for treatment and relay to doctors her problems because she has difficulty conversing....and I would not change the hecticness of being so involved with their family for the world because I know she would do the same.

Anyways....she was out at the lake in our town getting some sun. She LOVES the outdoors even though she has difficulty walking. She was at her campsite when she heard screaming. A woman was hit head on by a boat that was following closely and blood was flowing. Without a minute of hesitation, my boss's wife RAN inside of her camper, grabbed all of the sheets, went running back to the woman on shore, fell along the way and snapped her right ankle and left wrist...but got up and kept running.

She pushed everyone aside, wrapped the lady's head up and applied pressure and held it there for twenty minutes until the EMTs showed up. Our town just recently terminated the ambulance and EMT service and hired a private company, therefore it took forever. Unfortunately, the woman died, and my boss's wife had to explain to the woman's husband (while covered in her blood) that it was indeed his wife.

This woman needs help getting up her stairs on a daily basis...but in an instant, she overcame the pain and stepped up. Mentally, she is in an absolute cave right now, but I know she is able to fight her way out. I only wish the world was full of more superheroes like her.

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4. 9/11 phone responder

My family of 5, my uncle and his girlfriend, and my grandparents (3 total) went one morning about 10 years ago to a diner near our home. the 10 of us, with my dad at the head of the table, back facing the wall which was the parking lot side, were enjoying our meals. An old man while pulling into the diner failed to hit the brakes and instead hit the gas going full speed through the wall, crushing the wall down and running over the people sitting at the booths. My father, having insane and crazy reactions and instinct times, within a split second, pulled one of the diner table and created a wall that took a majority of the impact away from the car, blocked both my sisters. They both were ok, and my dad was okay also.

its not so much "heroic" but it is certainly something i have always found absolutely amazing.

A second story about my dad... My dad is a Managing Director for a Brokerage firm and his office is located only 10 minutes from our house in NJ. However, there is a NY firm. My dad lost about 60% of his closest friends on 9/11. He was some of their last phone calls, seeing they couldn't get in touch with their family and he was not only their friend on a business level, but also a very personal level as well. He spoke to almost 20 of his friends before they either jumped out of the buildings, or died of some other cause. That same day, he stayed on the phone for over 3 hours with his firm that was stuck in their World Trade Center building and witnessed the events and everything that happened.

I cant ever imagine going through what he did that day.



3. Great-great-great-great-grandpa

This is a family story, about my great, great, great, great grandfather. We have it written down somewhere or another, but I don't have it on me, so I'm doing this from memory.

He was getting married, in Lebanon, and the sheikh in his town wanted to take the man's soon-to-be-wife on the eve of his wedding. So he took her back to his house, and had her in his bed. My great (x4) grandfather was obviously none too happy about this, and decided he wasn't going to take this nonsense lying down.

So he went to the sheikh's house, dressed as a woman servant, and slipped into the guy's room. He then proceeded to kill the sheikh with a dagger, take his fiance, escape out the window where he had two horses waiting, and make it to a small little place called Gharzouz, Lebanon.

Not something I witnessed, obviously, but a neat little family story, nonetheless. That guy is my hero, if I'm being honest.

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2. We all owe our lives to nurses

When I was very young (probably around 4-5) I was at a beach in Southern California. As usual, there were tons of people all over the place. However, two kids in particular, had decided to dig their boogie boards into the sand and proceed to chuck rocks back and forth at each other. There were probably 20 feet or more spaced, each with a large pit behind the board where they were digging up rocks to toss.

Obviously, not the brightest thing, but it went from play to deathly serious in about two seconds when an oblivious kid walked between the boards. Both of the rock chuckers had stopped momentarily to dig and find more rocks. One of them apparently found a good sized rock, stuck his head and, and full on threw the rock while yelling. There was no hesitation, and he failed to see the kid walking in between the boards.

What happened next freaked me out...which is probably why I still remember. My mom was a nurse at the time, and we happened to be sitting about 20-30 feet away, basically, in plain view of the whole thing. The kid walking in between the boards turned towards the kid yelling and throwing the rock. He caught the rock right between his eyes, which embedded in his skull and split his head open.

The kid dropped and started screaming as blood literally exploded from his forehead. My mom grabbed my shirt and ran to the kid without thinking and yelled for someone to get the lifeguard. Afterwards, I learned that she literally held this kids head together as they waited for emergency services to arrive.

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1. A friend in need

I didn’t have any friends when I started high school. I would eat lunch at a different table each day that way people wouldn’t notice that I was alone. It was very hard and very isolating. I don’t want to say I was depressed because I don’t think I was but it was probably the hardest time in my life.

Then randomly this gay deaf kid adopted me into his friend group. He said that since he was gay and deaf he knew what it felt like to be an outsider and feel alone. He didn’t know my name. He didn’t have any reason to talk to me. But he noticed me sitting by myself a couple days in row and he decided to help. His friends became my friends and the rest is history.

I’m eternally grateful for what he did when he dragged me to his table and that he made sure I knew to sit with them the next day and every day after. He probably saved my life. I try to repeat his kindness when I can. Sometimes it’s just as simple as smiling at strangers. Sometimes it’s going out of my way to check up on a friend that hasn’t hung out in a while. And I always try to make everyone know that they are welcomed and accepted around me.

Thank you Dylan, I’m never going to forget what you did for me.

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