Soldier Who Died Trying to Save His Little Girls Is True American Hero

Most of us have visions of how we might react if our family was on the line. We all want to believe that we would act heroically and save our children first, but the truth is, none of us really know. For one family in North Carolina, they have their answers. And though the story has an ending so tragic and makes us all weep, it's also a story of love and heroism and courage in the face of something terrifying.

The story of US Army soldier Edward Duane Cantrell will both break your heart and lift your hope for humanity. Last night, the 36-year-old father of two died in a house fire trying to save his two daughters, 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia.

Trained as soldier, he was probably used to stressful, life and death situations, so when the time came to save his little girls, Cantrell didn't hesitate. Unfortunately and tragically, Cantrell wasn't successful. But what he did is nothing short of amazing.


It's hard to imagine the bravery and courage it would take to run back into a burning building, but it seems Cantrell preferred to die trying to save his children than live never having tried.

It's what we all think and say we would do as parents. But how many of us really would? We don't know unless we are put to the test. It's hard to imagine the pain his wife must be in today, but she can at least take some comfort in the fact that even though her husband was safe after jumping out the second floor window, he loved their two girls enough to run back inside.

Of course it makes the story all the more tragic to know these little girls had that kind of father. It's easy to imagine what they might have become with support like that. It's times like these that make me wish I were more religious as it would give great comfort to imagine that these little girls are safe somewhere better, in their father's arms.

So for today, I will believe that. Because truly, to believe anything else is simply too sad to bear. This man is the kind of hero who doesn't get nearly enough recognition, but he is the best kind. That is true courage, true valor, and true fatherhood.

This is the kind of story that will stick with me forever. My heart goes out to his widow and breaks for what she has to endure ahead.

Do you think you would ever have this courage?


Image via LearningLark/Flickr

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