We remembered the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this past weekend. Many stories were shared about the amazing things people did in an effort to help their fellow Americans in the minutes, hours, days and weeks following the tragedy and during the tragedy itself. There were the people on Flight 93 who made the courageous decision to storm the cockpit and crash the plane instead of letting the terrorists use it as another weapon of destruction. There was the Franciscan friar who went down to the Twin Towers after the first plane crash, entered the North Tower to minister to others, and died while giving last rites to someone else, praying, “God, please end this.”
This newspaper cannot print enough pages to share all of the amazing stories of the heroic acts performed by people relative to 9/11. If it tried, we would find pages filled with incredible stories of ordinary people. The people on Flight 93 were not super heroes or trained assassins, they were ordinary people who did extraordinary things. The friar was an ordinary preacher who did what came naturally.
Christopher Reeve is an actor that became famous for playing Superman in the original Superman movies. He later was injured while riding a horse and lived the last ten years of his life paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Before his injury, he was known to be politically active and stand up for things that were important to him. After his injury, he continued to work for others. He became a well known advocate for those suffering with disabilities, raised money and awareness for funding for Paralympics, medical treatments, and more. But because he was best known as Superman, he was often asked about being a superhero and is quoted as saying, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.”
We aren’t Superman. Many of us face obstacles that seem overwhelming. We don’t know what to do next. We’re afraid and filled with questions about whether we are worthy for the calling we find before us.
Persevere. Find the strength to get up and endure. Overcome self doubt. Do the next right thing because then you, too, can be a hero.
Chirsty Crow is an attorney with Jinks, Crow & Dickson, P.C.