Monday, December 28, 2009

I know I'm being stingy but Jasper Schuringa is NOT a hero, at least as I define the word. To me, a hero is someone who risks his life to save another... and while I applaud Schuringa for his actions (and hope that if I was ever in a similar situation I would act as decisively as he did), as his actions may have kept him and the other passengers and crew from being blown to pieces... but his life - along with everybody else on the plane - was already at risk and thus he doesn't rise to the level of hero.

It's the same thing with the Hudson River pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, whose actions saved the passengers but who likewise doesn't qualify for the tag 'hero' as he didn't put his life at risk in order to save the passengers, his life was already at risk. What Sullenberger did was to save his own life, just as Schuringa did. That their actions saved a bunch of other people doesn't turn self-preservation into heroism.