It’s easy to name fictional superheroes like Batman and Spiderman because we are bombarded with their stories across television, movies, comic books and video games. Occasionally, Hollywood makes movies about men that act heroically in the line of duty, like “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Sully Sullenberger. But, can you name regular people who have made heroic sacrifices for their fellow citizens?
Yes, members of the armed forces, law enforcement, and fire department are true heroes because they dedicate their lives to careers of service. However, every once in awhile a “regular Joe” rises above the pack to sacrifice themselves and save the lives of others. Previously, we’ve highlighted everyday heroes who prevented terrorist attacks and mass shootings. Now, we put together a top five list of some of the most noble acts of the common man.
Here are just a few of the greatest sacrifices made by these unsung heroes:
“Subway Superman” Wesley Autrey
In 2007, New Yorker Wesley Autrey saved the life of a man who had fallen onto the subway tracks. Autrey bravely jumped down and pulled him into a drainage ditch between the tracks seconds before a train passed overhead. Autrey’s quick thinking and bravery saved the man’s life, and earned him the nickname “Subway Superman.”
Lenny Skutnik’s Heroic Sacrifices in the Potomac River
In 1982, Lenny Skutnik was a bystander watching the crash of an Air Florida plane into the Potomac River. Without hesitation, he jumped into the icy water to rescue a woman who was struggling to survive. His selfless act of bravery earned him the Presidential Citizen’s Medal. Later, he was honored by having the Congressional Gold Medal named after him.
In 1991, Wesley Williams was a conductor on a New York City subway train when a passenger fell onto the tracks. The valiant Williams quickly jumped down to rescue the man, pushing him out of the way of the oncoming train. Sadly, Williams was struck and killed in the process, but the passenger was saved. For his bravery, Williams was recognized posthumously with the Transit Authority’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor.
Rick Rescorla, 9/11 Hero
In 2001, Rick Rescorla was the Director of Security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center. As the towers were attacked, Rescorla played a key role in evacuating the South Tower. He heroically led more than 2,700 employees to safety. Rescorla did not survive the attacks, but his actions that day saved countless lives. Rescorla was one of hundreds who made heroic sacrifices on that fateful day, including people like Welles Crowther.
Heroic Sacrifices by Salvatore J. Giunta, A Living Legend
In 2007, Salvatore J. Giunta was a soldier serving in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed by Taliban fighters. Giunta risked his own life to save his comrades. His actions earned him the Medal of Honor. Giunta became the first living recipient of the medal since the Vietnam War.
These are just a few examples of the heroic sacrifices made by everyday men to save the lives of others. Memorable incidents remind us that true heroism can be found in the actions of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Their selfless acts of bravery serve as a constant inspiration to us all.
-Your Big Bro