We’ve heard about the villains.
Let us also remember the heroes.
- At La Belle Equipe, the Parisian café where 19 people died on Friday the 13th, former French Marine Eric Doninichetti shielded his girlfriend from a hail of bullets, then risked his life to help dying victims.
- At the Bataclan nightclub in Paris, Irishman David Nolan threw himself on top of his girlfriend to protect her, then pulled her out of the building, despite having taken a bullet. They were let into a gated apartment by an unnamed French girl who tended to David’s wounds (he’s currently recovering in a Parisian hospital).
- Outside the Bataclan–while terrorists were approaching–Sebastien Besotti caught a pregnant woman as she fell from a second storey window. Both were taken hostage, but were later freed by the French police.
- In Paris to celebrate his friend Chloé Clement’s birthday, Ludovic Boumbas dove in front of her, “taking the bullet meant for me,” she says, and dying in the process.
- Outside the Stade de France, an unnamed security guard cornered a suicide bomber, causing the man to detonate his vest, killing himself but no one else in the process, and resulting in other bombers doing the same. Thousands inside the stadium, including France’s president, were saved.
- Meanwhile, in Beirut, Lebanon, the night before, Adel Termos, a father of two young children, survived a suicide bomb that killed 43 in a busy restaurant, and then spotted a second bomber heading for the mosque across the street. He threw himself on the man as the bomb detonated. Both the terrorist and Adel died instantly. At least 200 people were saved.
- Moving reports continue of French and Lebanese citizens sheltering the traumatized and aiding the wounded, of taxi drivers forgoing fees to drive people home after buses and the metro shut down.
To paraphrase Mr. Twain, “Reports of humanity’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Yes, our humanity has seen better days.
But it is still alive.