Thursday, February 01, 2007

In the ordinary instant

In a highly unusual assault, an attacker splashed lighter fluid on an elderly man and tried to ignite him, but the intended victim fought back. The attacker then turned his attention to 2 women a few yards away, splashed them with lighter fluid and did set them on fire.

Dawn Atkission became an ordinary hero yesterday. According to KING5 Seattle News, her acute observations and quick response the saved the two women from severe injury when she used her coat to smother the flames. Dawn also directed other bystanders to get the assailant until the police arrived.

The Seattle Times' report of the same incident focused on Gus Jones, the 82 year old man who fought back by striking that assailant with his cane until the assailant backed off.

In the ordinary instant, both Dawn and Gus were able to connect their observations with immediate and decisive action. I admire people who show those qualities, and hope that if I'm faced with an analogous incident, I would also act positively. And I appreciate the news outlets focusing on the pro-active actions we could all learn to do.

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