by Nancy Reyes in All News, Breaking News, Iraq War, Pennsylvania News, Society and Culture, The War on Terror, US News
Today, President Bush presented the Medal of Honor to the parents of Pfc Ross McGiness.
When a grenade was thrown into the hatch of his Humvee, McGiness, who was the gunner, chose not to jump out and save his own life, but to jump down and protect his buddies with his body to save them. He died, but the other four lives were saved by his actions.
NYTimes photo at right.
Yet those who don’t go past the headlines will say: Great guy, and then go on, figuring his life has no lesson for anyone else. Alas, there are probably a few people out there who will ridicule his actions, being brought up in a world of cynicism and nihilism where risking one’s life for others is considered dumb.
So I was happy thatJames Hohman of the LATimes actually went past the hard facts and data to find the motives of Pfc McGuiness:
A month before, a similar situation had occurred with another convoy. When a grenade landed inside a Humvee, the gunner jumped out, as he had been trained to do. That grenade turned out to be a dud. “In the days that followed, McGinnis said he didn’t know what he would do,” Buehler said. “I felt the same way. It’s hard to say what you’d do.”
So in a world where kids are taught to live for oneself, a young man rehearsed in his mind what he should do.
Like Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor, who died when he too shielded his friends from a grenade blast, or like my classmate, Michael Crescenz, who attacked the snipers nest so that the wounded could be rescued, or like the firemen and police who risk their lives every day so that others can live,we have heroism all around us. And once in awhile, we need to pause and spend a moment to recognize that heroes still exist, and to say a prayer for the ones who give their lives so others may live