I like to do my own review too. I have read over some of the gazillion "top ten" lists and heroes from Time and CNN, and with a bit of my own reflection, come up with 5 people who make my cut.
In no particular order, here are the InterNetwork Cafe's "Everyday Heroes" of 2009:
Tan Zuoren of China who made Time's top 10 heroes list this year after he was accused of defaming the Communist party. What he tried to do was set up a database for the families of children who died in the 2008 China earthquake. Because of the government contracts involved in building "tofu" buildings which housed these children may have been substandard, Mr. Zuoren's efforts to ensure the safety of future children made him a victim himself. It is writing about his opinions that got him in trouble, and for that, I honor him. He makes me remember why I am thankful to be free.
One of the people nominated for CNN hero of the year is my next hero: That was an exhaustive list and it was tough to choose, but ultimately I chose Derrick Tabb of New Orleans. Partially because he is close to home, but also because he uses music, which has always been a huge part of my life, to keep young kids off the streets. By teaching kids "The Roots of Music" for no charge, he is harboring a new generation of New Orleans Jazz. After Katrina's floodwaters ravaged the city four years ago, the first souls to wind their way back home (probably because they never left) were those who are music of the city. Thankfully, Tabb will ensure the city beat goes on!
Next on my list of everyday heroes for 2009 is another local: A cashier at Brookshire's on Ridgewood Road in Jackson named Lorna. She may just be "doing her job", but she does it darn well and I am thankful for it. It does not matter how many people are in line: Lorna's line will sweep the fastest. Not only that, but she will have a kind word to say and a smile on her face in the process. I dread those endless trips for the millionth thing I forgot, but at least Miz Lorna is there to help make it a tolerable trip! Thanks Lorna!
Last and most definitely not least is one of two heroic "Captains" this year: Captain Richard Phillips of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama. This brave soul risked his own life to save his crew when he traded himself for their freedom from Somali pirates. There were plenty of people who died a heroic death this year, and Captain Phillips was nearly one of them. Thanks to the NAVY Seals and his own courage and tenacity, the Captain lived to tell his story, and to sail the high seas once again.
Captain Phillips (right) with commander Frank Costellano
So with respect to all the other heroes out there, this is my personal top 5 for 2009. Some who impacted me in a profound way, some who made my day a little brighter every day, and some who helped make something good out of something not so good. I thank you for being the people you are and strive to be even half as good as one of you in 2010.
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