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Heroes live among us


St Vincent is under a high surf advisory and a small craft warning, yet yesterday a group of men from the village of Fancy defied the rough seas and jumped into a small fishing boat to rush to the assistance of strangers, whose boat had capsized.

Three days earlier, residents of Upper New Montrose sprang into action to try to save four children who were trapped in their home which had caught afire. One resident, in particular, risked his life by ripping off the front door of the infants’ dwelling and going into the inferno to try to save the children from a fiery death. The fire department was so impressed with the initiative of residents of the area that they publicly thanked them for using buckets of water to try to contain the fire before they arrived. After the children were rescued, three other residents answered the call of police to transport the children to the hospital.

We report on both these stories in today’s edition of SEARCHLIGHT. Although sadly, two families are now grieving the loss of loved ones, these stories also provide reassurance that despite the hostility we often mete out and the artificial barriers we erect to put distance between ourselves and others, we have not all lost our humanity and there are still many good people among us.

Very often we forget this and lament that the good neighbourliness of yesteryear has been lost forever. It has not, but the selfishness, duplicity and wickedness of some of our people, highlighted in many of the stories we sometimes carry, have made many people wary and afraid to reach out. But it is now more than ever, in challenging times, that we need a greater spirit of community.

There have been, over the years, many other examples of bravery exhibited by our people, but usually, after a few days, the names and faces of these heroes fade from our minds. These people ought to be recognized by the state. Our national honours should not be reserved only for those who contributed over a lifetime in different spheres of endeavour.

Something to think about in the weeks leading up to National Heroes Day in March?

We commend the residents of Fancy and Upper New Montrose for their bravery and selflessness.