SHIRLEY FRANKLIN: The Courage Of Neighbors And Strangers

by Shirley Franklin 

Neighbor Charles Ramsey asked the screaming woman, “Can I help?” The actions of neighbor Charles Ramsey helped police discover three Ohio women who vanished as teenagers about a decade ago.  Police have arrested the homeowner Ariel Castro, 52, a former school bus driver and his brothers in connection with the abductions.

In another horrid captivity case in Philadelphia in 2011, Turgut Gozleveli was the owner of a building who found several disabled people held against their will in a Social Security fraud scheme living in squalor in the basement when he went to check on a noise he heard coming from downstairs.

The acts of neighbors and strangers who made decisions that saved the lives of others has been well documented.

During the Boston Marathon bombing, many newspapers carried the photo of Carlos Arredondo in his cowboy hat providing emergency assistance to a man who appeared to have lost both his legs in the blast.

Kaitlin Roig was an elementary teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary school during the shooting, when her quick thinking lead her to rush 15 students into a bathroom and put a bookshelf across the door telling the children to be quiet to protect them during the rampage.

In the Aurora, Colorado movie-theater shooting a young man, Jarell Brooks, who was shot in the leg found the courage to lead a woman with her two small children to an exit door to safety.

Time and time again, it has been the humility of neighbors and strangers that has sparked their humanity in our darkest moments.  We are thankful for the acts of courage from neighbors and strangers when it was needed most.