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On the day President Obama was inaugurated, Eliot Swainson happened to be in Washington, D.C. The city authorities had expected record numbers of people to attend the inauguration, so they asked for assistance from other cities to help with crowd control. Metro Officer Swainson from Houston, Texas was one of those who answered the call. He was deputized and assigned to help at the D.C. metro station near the National Mall.


And that’s where he was on the morning of January 20th when he heard shouts from the crowd that someone was on the subway track. Swainson looked and saw a woman, who had obviously fallen onto the track and was trying desperately to get back up on the platform. One of the subway trains was rapidly approaching. Swainson sprang into action. Running to the woman, he first tried to pull her up onto the platform, but the train was coming too quickly. So, he pushed her to the ground and tucked her into a space under the platform just as the train arrived and passed harmlessly beside her.


This lady needed a savior. When everything seemed lost and all hope was gone and disaster was imminent, she needed someone to be on her side. And that’s what Eliot Swainson was. He became her hero—the one who was on her side and did what needed to be done to meet her need, just as Del Wolfgramm had been Mike Robinson’s hero and did what needed to be done to meet his need. That’s what heros do. (Larry Lazo and Kelly Marshall, Houston transit cop saved woman from train on Inauguration Day, CNN.com (January 22, 2009), available at http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/21/dc.subway.rescue/index.html?section=cnn_latest (last visited January 27, 2009)).

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