Tucson Shooting Finds Young Hero in the Midst of Hate

Julie Ryan Evans

Daniel HernandezThe horror, fear, and grief the Arizona shooting leaves us with can be consuming. To think of the lives lost and the violent, hate-filled world in which we're raising our children can make us desperate and depressed for our future. But in the midst of all the outrage and sadness, it's important to remember that just because this one young man, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, made a horrifying choice, there are many more amazing young people out there we are raising too, heroes like Daniel Hernandez.

Hernandez, 20, was working as an intern for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically injured in the shooting. He had only been on the job a week, when he instinctively took action that likely saved his boss's life. According to CNN, after shots were fired, Hernandez immediately rushed to Giffords' side and used his bare hands to stop what he could of the blood pouring from her head.

He said he was "trying to take care of her emotional needs" and "keep her calm" and rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital. His composure was remarkable.

"You just have to be calm and collected," he told The Arizona Republic. "You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown .... It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help."

How amazing that instead of running for cover or trying to shield himself, this young man's first instinct was to care for another. And his humility is equally inspiring.

"People have been referring to me as a hero," he said. "I don't think that I am. I think the people who are heroes are people like Gabby, who have dedicated their lives to public service, It just makes me happy to know that I could help her in any way that I could."

Here he is speaking to CNN:

Incredible! So the next time you start to bemoan the future of this country and drown in stories of suicide and bullying and violence and cruelty among young people, stop and think of Daniel Hernandez and the many other incredible young men and women out there. Perhaps they're not always making headlines, but they are there with their ethics, courage, and willingness to spring to action that offer a brightness to our future.

Do you think Daniel Hernandez is a hero?

Image via Facebook

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