Inspired by a true and genuine hero

Published 7:36pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christopher Reeve, the actor famously known for his role as Superman, I think got it just right.

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles,” he said.

Wednesday, I had the chance to join one of our reporters, Katie Wood, in covering a presentation held by the city of Selma honoring Doug Bacon.

It is one of those assignments, I am forever glad I took the time to attend and cover.

By nature, it appeared Doug was tremendously humble, unassuming and would be just as happy taking a walk with his girlfriend as he would be doing just about anything else in life.

Doug is an Army veteran and is a graduate student at Auburn University, continuing his studies in architecture.

But one thing you would not find on Doug’s resume, and something he would surely never tell anyone, is that he is a hero; a hero in definition and a hero in action.

By now, nearly everyone knows the story of how Doug risked his life on Tuesday, Jan. 8 to save the life of a woman who had jumped from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in what has been classified as an attempted suicide.

And, the only reason it is an attempted suicide — and not a successful one — is because of Doug Bacon — plain and simple.

In talking with his girlfriend, we learned that Doug was tremendously uncomfortable during Tuesday’s ceremony as Selma Mayor George Evans presented him with a proclamation, the city’s fire department and police department presenting him plaques and the family of the woman he saved lovingly squeezing the life out of him with countless hugs.

It wasn’t that he didn’t understand the notoriety. He did. He just felt he wasn’t deserving of the attention. He was.

Throughout the event, I snapped picture after picture of him as he listened to one person after another singing his praises. And, in each picture, Doug offered a slight smile. He would have rather been anywhere else; it’s just his nature.

Tuesday I had the chance to cover an event dedicated to true hero, someone who made the conscious decision to put their life on the line to save another. What better evidence of heroism — and humanity — is there? There isn’t any.

Like I said earlier, Reeve had it “just” about right. But, John 15:13, hit it right on the head: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

On Jan. 8, Doug Bacon was both heroic and loving.

It is both something I know I will learn from and a story I will carry with me for the rest of my days.

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