published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012
What heroes look like
Through tragedy, we have gained examples we should all aspire to achieve. We have been fortunate to glimpse heroes in action.
"She never let go of her child, even in death." Those words were uttered by Sheriff Susan Benton on Monday about the heroic effort Heather Town exerted to protect her daughter, AnneMarie, when a tornado ripped the two from their home on Sunday.
Heather was found close to death, barely breathing, but still holding tight to AnneMarie, more than 200 feet from her mobile home after the storm passed.
Heather died moments after neighbors located the crying AnneMarie and removed her from her mother's arms.
Heather's father, Elmer, showed quiet resolve and praise for her selfless act. He reasserted what most already knew - that Heather cared deeply for her children.
This disaster happened while our community tried to cope with another tragic death in the past few weeks. But it highlights another family that stood up for right and showed courage in the face of heartbreak.
After the horrible death of their son Aaron, the Doty family extended love to the community instead of anger, hatred and condemnation.
They stressed patience to those angry and upset and asked for cooler heads. They encouraged and allowed friends and family to gather and share their Christian love. They clamed and quieted the storm raging around Aaron's death with faith. Chased out the hate and anger, feelings we all instinctively feel when our family is hurt or endangered.
These two acts are what we as a community should aspire to achieve in similar instances. Two courageous acts that should be kept in our minds and hearts as we trudge through our daily lives.
We would like to stress that the community shares your grief and your hopes. We gain strength from your strength.
Thank each of you for your example of what we can achieve; what we can become if we stand firm in our values and beliefs.
We remind all to keep these families in their thoughts and prayers.
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