Commentary: Actions define these heroes

This editorial appeared in The Belleville News-Democrat.

People love to apply the title hero, but often it fits poorly.

Capt. Chesley Sullenberger was roundly hailed as a hero by safely landing his passenger plane in the Hudson. But when it comes down to it, he was extremely competent at his job and really had no choice.

Great man, but a hero?

Here's what we think defines a hero.

First, heroes risk or sacrifice their lives to save others. Second, if they survive they invariable deny they are heroes.

We think Keith Melton and Terry Bullard of First Baptist Church Maryville met the tests.

Melton said he saw the Rev. Fred Winters attacked, just reacted and ran to the front of the church. Terry Joe Sedlacek's gun jammed and he pulled a knife to continue attacking Winters, police said.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Belleville News-Democrat.

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