Elk Grove Citizen

Hometown Heroes

September 25, 2015

The entire Sacramento region is a community of many heroes.  We see neighbors and loved ones taking action everyday so others can be healthy and safe. On September 11, 14 years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, more than 10,000 people in our community came together and honored three of our own who showed absolute courage by preventing a terrorist attack on a train in France.  We are still beaming with pride. 

Three friends who grew up together in Sacramento, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone were on the vacation of their lifetimes, when they saw a man walks down the aisle holding what looks like a shotgun and an AK-47 assault weapon. 

In the terrifying few minutes that followed, Anthony, Spencer and Alek did what so many of us hope we would have the courage to do if faced with the same situation.  They put themselves between the gunman and other passengers – children, families, seniors and businessmen and women that were complete strangers to the young men. 

We shudder to think what would have happened to the passengers and to Anthony, Spencer and Alek if they didn’t have the wherewithal to first, be aware and involved with what was happening around them, and then, have the courage to spring to their feet and run toward the gunman, instead of away. 

Of course we now know that the gunman was a terrorist and that our hometown heroes thwarted his plan to kill as many people as he could on board that train. 

These young men are Sacramento, born and raised.  In fact, you may know Anthony Sadler’s father – a pastor of Oak Park’s Shiloh Baptist Church. We share in their parents pride, and so, it was so fitting that more than 10,000 people in Sacramento came out on a hot Friday afternoon for a parade to remember the first responders who gave their lives 14 year ago and to give thanks to all of our hometown heroes: these young men as well as the firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics and others on our front lines. 

We are proud that Sacramento is home to such courage and selflessness. 

Even as we celebrated on Capitol Mall, we also know that there are many more heroes living in our region, bravely working to better the lives of others and protecting our community.  It is important to recognize that everyone can be hero to someone and the Sacramento region is full of unsung heroes. I have begun a special feature to acknowledge a person in our community making a substantial, yet unrecognized contribution.  

Check out my first unsung hero, Lynda Nicole Williams at:  http://sd06.senate.ca.gov/district/unsung-heroes. I want to know more about the unsung heroes in Elk Grove!  If you know an unsung hero that should be in the spotlight, let me know at Senator.Pan@senate.ca.gov.

And as always, please feel free to share your thoughts with me. You can reach my office by phone at (916) 262-2904.