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ABOUT A FEW HEROES


Some may think its fashionable to proclaim that the age of heroes has passed. That the glory years of towering giants has faded into a mist of myth and fable. Well, if you’re looking for heroes -- look around. Look at your next door neighbor, the woman whom you see playing catch with her children on the front lawn. The man who invites you over for a backyard barbeque on the Fourth of July. For it could well be that these men and women shunned a life of comfort and ease, and instead awoke every morning, donned their badge, and put their lives at risk for the rest of us. And some of these heroes paid the ultimate price. We honor them not because of how they died, but because of how they lived.


They lived the life of Highway Patrol Officer Saul Martinez. Officer Martinez saw an oncoming car speeding toward him and reacted quickly enough to push his partner to safety, only to be struck and killed by the car himself. In remembering him, his fellow officers described him as "the epitome of all you could possibly be as a human being." He was a true hero.


They lived the life of Officer Scott Williams, a corrections officer who was snuck up on and stabbed through the neck from behind by an inmate. Though he fell to the ground bleeding profusely, he saw his murderer moving on to attack a fellow officer. With his last sliver of life, Officer Williams pulled himself up and charged the assailant -- saving the life of his partner, while exhausting his own. He was a true hero.


SOURCE: Remarks by Vice President Al Gore, National Peace Officers Memorial Service, Friday, May 15, 1998. http://clinton3.nara.gov/WH/EOP/OVP/

speeches/policeme.html


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