The Most Heartwarming Heroes of 2019


Gianni Martinez, Sports Editor

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  • Brandt Jean’s Act Of Grace Toward His Brother’s Killer Sparks A Debate Over Forgiving. Hugging Amber Guyger as she was sentenced for killing his brother, Botham Jean — has provoked an array of reactions, from admiration to frustration. A simple act of forgiveness to ease the pain, and loss of their beloved son and brother.

  • Signs and pictures adorn London Bridge on Dec. 2 in memory of the victims of the latest attack in central London. On 29 November 2019, five people were stabbed, two fatally. The perpetrator, Usman Khan, had been released from prison in 2018 after serving a sentence for terrorist offences. Several people fought back, one attacking Khan with a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk as he fled the building and emerged on to London Bridge, where he was partially disarmed by a plain-clothes police officer. He was restrained by members of the public until additional police officers arrived, pulled away those restraining him, and shot him dead. Unfortunately there were fatalities, however they will be remembered as those who fought to keep others safe.

  • Staci Alonso opened Noah’s Animal House, allowing women to keep their pets close as they get back on their feet. Alonso knows first-hand the powerful bond that can exist between a woman and her pet. She opened Noah’s Animal House, a full-service pet shelter located right on the grounds of a domestic violence shelter in Las Vegas. This shelter will help women who’ve suffered from domestic violence as well as having a cute companion along with them.

  • The dog who helped kill Baghdadi visited the White House. This adorable K-9 named,Conan, a Belgian Malinois, tore after Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a darkened tunnel in Syria last month before Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest. Conan joins a long, scruffy line of war dogs that have served alongside U.S. troops for more than a century.

  • Medal of Honor Society honors Parkland heroes. A group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and faculty credited with saving lives during a 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., were among those recognized Monday at a special ceremony. Of those three honored at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s 2019 Citizen Honors Awards banquet, only one was in attendance — because Anthony Borges is the only one who survived that fateful day. Borges, only 16 at the time, is credited with saving the lives of 20 of his classmates by barricading the door to their classroom with his own body, even as he was shot several times through the door.

  • Richard Miles, founder of Miles of Freedom, a program that helps ex-convicts integrate back in to society, was a teenager when he was arrested and accused of murder. At 20, he was sentenced to 60 years behind bars. He was an innocent man. For two years, Miles struggled to get back on his feet. Ultimately, he found a job, a home, and today is married with a child. Miles was fully exonerated in February 2012 and used a portion of the money he received from the state to provide comprehensive reentry services for people and families affected by incarceration. The Miles of Freedom Lawn Care Service provides temporary employment for men and women in the program. Miles also offers a shuttle service that takes family members to see their loved ones who are incarcerated. Mike Stone/Special Contributor

    Special Contributor
  • Tolland man saves driver from burning car. The car was driving down Main street when it exploded and within seconds a car driving by quickly pulled over. That is when Ed Cyr (on right) ran across the road in an attempt to save the passenger behind the wheel. “I pushed him back, reached down the seat belt, unbuckled him and then pulled him out,” Cyr said. .“I mean when I look at the word hero in the dictionary it’s Ed,” Lucia said.

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