True Heroism – Aitzaz Hasan

Heroes are, most often, simple people standing at the intersection of a moment of crisis and pre-established values. –K. A. Ellis

Over the last few days, the story of brave 17-year-old Aitzaz Hasan has broken through the borders of Islamabad and onto the global scene. Echoing Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai’s globally publicized ordeal, Hasan thwarted an assault on his school by a would-be suicide bomber, by chasing the bomber away from the school. Unlike Miss Yousafzai however, Hasan did not survive the attack. As the bomber detonated his weapon of destruction during the chase, Hasan gave his life so that hundreds of his classmates might live.

Each day, heroic acts are committed, and many of their actors will go unsung. Generally speaking, heroes are not glory-seekers. They are, most often, simple people standing at the intersection of a moment of crisis and pre-established values.

What catches our attention with young Hasan is the juxtaposition of the two deaths: one person’s self-destruction that only held significance in yielding the deaths of others, contrasted with a second death, made far more significant by the numbers who survived.

It’s easy to name the true hero in this situation; the one who would die so that others might live, a pattern that those who affirm life cannot deny for its larger significance.

Those of us who believe in the God of Redemption can easily see the echoes of the ultimate sacrifice of life for lives.

The Associated Press gives Hasan’s full story here.

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