As a society, we sometimes forget what the word "hero" really means. The dictionary says it's a person who has an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character. Entertainment Tonight, however, suggests that showing up on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in $2,000 shoes and pretending to build some furniture makes you a regular Audie Murphy. I don't think you're really a hero unless you do something that the majority of the population couldn't or wouldn't do under extraordinary circumstances--like Captain Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, for instance. A lot of people will argue that the man was just doing his job when he guided a disabled Airbus A320 with 155 people on board to a safe landing on the Hudson River earlier this year, and this doesn't qualify him as a hero. But as someone who panics when caterers are running late for an event at my job, I think I can honestly say that the man's presence of mind, logic and calm demeanor in terrifying circumstances elevates him to heroic status. And unlike the majority of those deemed heroic, Captain Sully has remained pretty quiet, doing only a few TV interviews and making appearances as part of his book tour for his new biography, Highest Duty. Expect the admiring masses to flock to his book signing at 6 p.m. Thursday at Borders, 10720 Preston Road. Call 214-363-1977 for more information.
Thu., Oct. 22, 6 p.m., 2009