In the writing world, we talk a lot about heroes. In the romance genre, the hero should be someone to fall in love with, or at least worthy of the heroine’s love. But no matter how wonderful the writer, our heroes fall flat compared to the real thing.
I cannot think too much about the tragedy in Connecticut. My heart hurts too much for those parents who lost a child. I cannot wrap my head around the whole situation. Neither can my nine-year old daughter, who asks me questions I cannot answer.
My daughter and I have talked a lot about heroes, about those special people who did the right thing even though they were scared or horrified or both. The image of children being led from Sandy Hook reminded me of 9/11 and the brave teachers who corralled preschool students and walked them away from the debris field.
There are more heroes. Kaitlin Roig hid her students in a bathroom, and the music teacher who used large instruments as a shield. The story of Victoria Soto who hid her students in cabinets before confronting the gunman has a tragic end. Both acts made me think of those brave souls who hid Jews during Nazi round-ups. I imagine the children, then and now, were equally frightened.
We must not forget principal Dawn Hochsprung, who ran at the shooter when most of us would run away. The school and world lost a fierce advocate for children.
Talking with my daughter, I try to emphasize these heroes, not fictional ones. Real life heroes need no embellishment to inspire. They are amazing.