I'll admit it - in my old age, I've become a softy. Heck, I've been known to cry while watching soup commercials. And, occasionally, I'll tear up watching a news story about something simple act of kindness or inspirational feat. One of the last times I wept for that reason was watching that autistic kid score 20 points in the high school basketball game last year. And then there was Thursday night, when I finally watched the CBS News item about Wesley Autrey, a 50-year-old construction worker and Vietnam vet who on Jan. 2 risked his life to save a teenager that he didn't know. When the young man had a seizure in on a New York subway platform and fell onto the tracks and into the path of an approaching train, Autrey - whose two young daughters were with him - jumped onto the tracks and covered the boy with his own body as the train sped over them with only a couple inches of clearance between safety and a very close haircut.
Naturally Autrey is being showered with praise and attention from all corners. His story has gone international Donald Trump has given him $10,000, and he's also received a free trip to Disney World, a medal from the city of New York and, naturally, a years' worth of free subway rides. David Letterman had him on his show tonight; Ellen DeGeneres' turn comes next week. Geez, even Howard Stern gave this guy props with little sense of sarcasm. And through it all, Autrey insists that he is not a hero, that he was just doing what was right. He didn't do it for the gifts he's received, wasn't even thinking about any of that when he went to protect young film student Cameron Hollopeter from certain death. Cameron's father, by the way, vehemently disagrees with Autrey about the hero part. (Oh, and that's the part of the story when I really lost it.)
Damn, I'm crying again.
CBS News, via YouTube