Like many Americans, I’ve been haunted lately by a dream of a man flying over the laps of fellow passengers to subdue a guy who’s trying to blow up their plane. 

Thank you, Jaspar Schuringa!!!!

Whether or not you were on that plane or had someone important to you on it, you owe that fellow some gratitude and respect. If that plane had come down in flames over Detroit, who knows how the course of our lives would have changed, not to mention the lives of our children. 

Since then, Schuringa has been criticized for selling photos and trying to sell his story to media. I don’t doubt that possibility, but believe we have the likes of the Murdoch empire to thank for the temptation to sell news. Whether he tried to cash in on his heroics or not, no one can dispute that he helped saved the plane and everyone on it.

I, for one, am extremely grateful to know there are Jaspar Schuringas out there, among us, just in case. My son, daughter in law and baby grandson are in Europe visiting family and will be flying home soon. When they board their return flight, I will be comforted to know there might be other angels in the crowd.  

In light of what happened Friday and because this is the end of the year, today may be a good time to reflect on the importance of heroes in our lives, as at least one Birds reader has. If you haven’t already read it, I’m going to suggest you read or reread an earlier post on heroes,highlighting an opinion piece in Time magazine by Nancy Gibbs. Be sure to read the comment left by Marie, of Montpellier, France. 


I love Nancy Gibbs. A crackerjack reporter, she now has the enviable job of commenting on life as it rolls by, for Time Magazine. Gibbs is a writer writers read. See what you think:

Do-It-Yourself Heroes
By NANCY GIBBS Monday, May. 18, 2009

Human beings have always created the heroes we need, from Hercules and Sherlock Holmes--whose supernatural gifts let them conquer mighty foes--to Underdog and the Ugly Duckling--whose transformations were themselves acts of heroism. Right now, when the headlines clang with catastrophe and confusion, it's natural that we'd be at it again, searching for heroes to suit the times.

First there was Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, walking the length of his sinking plane to be sure every last passenger was safely off. Then came Captain Richard Phillips, battling pirates in angry seas. And finally there's Susan Boyle, the unemployed church lady whose dying mother had told her to chase her ridiculous dreams of musical stardom.

For more, go to:,9171,1896722,00.html