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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Real heroes can appear in day-to-day life

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 15, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:15 p.m.


People love heroes. Cultures across the world have stories of ordinary people who do incredible things. In the Crossroads, we see heroes in uniform every day. Law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and more work daily to make sure others can live safely, often rushing into danger to save people they do not know.

Two men in particular stand as examples of this amazing dedication to the lives of others. Senior Patrol Officer Billy Bernard, of the Victoria Police Department, and Capt. Adam Luther, a Victoria firefighter, were awarded the Medal of Valor, one of the highest honors in law enforcement, Jan. 10. The two men stopped at a wreck on Nursery Drive on their way to Turkeyfest on Oct. 12. Even though they were off duty and did not have any of their protective gear, the two men rushed to a burning vehicle, crawled inside to free an unconscious man trapped inside and then returned to the vehicle to make sure no one else was inside. The two men also rescued a woman from a second vehicle before it caught on fire.

We were impressed when we heard this tale of dedication and fearless action. Both men reacted, rushed into a potentially deadly situation and prevented at least one fatality. This is the kind of work they are trained to do, but when on duty, they are equipped with protective gear and tools to make the situation safer. This time, apart from the training they had received and experience from years of responding to emergencies, they were no different than two normal passers-by acting as good Samaritans.

We applaud these two men for their brave actions and their dedication to protecting the lives of others. These medals, which have not been awarded in Victoria since the 1998 flood, were earned and well deserved. Bernard and Luther showed themselves to be exactly the kinds of leaders we need as first responders. It takes a special kind of person to run into danger when others are running away. That courage is something amazing and awe-inspiring to see in others, and we are glad two such admirable men are here to protect and serve our community.

Thank you, Officer Bernard and Capt. Luther. Your actions have made you heroes and examples for future generations to look up to.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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