EDITORIAL: We can be heroes

The news is more likely to make you sick than make you smile. Thank your elected officials for the shutdown theater, debt ceiling drama and health insurance hikes, as well as the political posturing and bickering that accompany such issues. Want some fresh air to escape this nonsense? Sorry, Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead are closed. You’re perfectly justified to ask: Does anything good ever happen anymore?

The answer is a resounding yes. It’s hard for inspiring individuals to steal headlines from government. Fortunately, something is being done here in Southern Nevada to promote the goodness that defines our society. As reported Monday by the Review-Journal’s Richard Lake, the local chapter of the American Red Cross will hold its seventh annual Everyday Heroes Awards at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Paris Las Vegas.

The event, Mr. Lake noted, aims to bring attention to the regular folks who do good deeds every day but rarely get recognized for it. This year’s honorees include a woman who stopped at the scene of a car crash — while many others drove past — and likely saved a woman’s life; a hotel maid who rescued a choking baby; a state trooper who led four teenagers from a burning home; two young lifeguards who saved a mother and her child from drowning; and from one of the biggest stories of 2013, all the firefighters who battled the Carpenter 1 blaze around Mount Charleston this summer.

“People are hungry for stories like these,” said Lloyd Ziel, spokesman for the Southern Nevada American Red Cross chapter. “We don’t get to hear about (the good news) sometimes, the good that people are doing on the grass-roots level, that we can all relate to.”

Indeed. The awards ceremony is an important annual event, and as a community, we should be looking for more ways to recognize all the positive contributions made by our citizens. Kudos to the local Red Cross chapter for its continued efforts to honor good deeds, and congratulations and thanks to Thursday’s winners.

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