On Wednesday, the world said goodbye to Tyler Doohan, an 8-year-old New Yorker who died rescuing six of his relatives from a fire. Doohan (pictured above) lost his life when he went back in to the blaze to save his grandfather.
During a Mass at the St. John of Rochester Catholic Church, Tyler was given a firefighter’s funeral. He was honored along with two other family members who died in the blaze.
“This is a helmet we give to the family to symbolize that Tyler is indeed a part of the brotherhood of firefighters, as an honorary firefighter in Penfield,” said Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer as he presented the family with a special fire helmet possessing Tyler’s name.
In comments honoring her son, Tyler’s mom, Crystal Vrooman, said, “You’re a hero, baby … You did it huge. I know you’re watching this go on, and you should be so proud of yourself.”
In. Deed. Doohan demonstrated a courage that few adults possess. While so many of us ponder life’s meaning and why we’re put on this earth, an 8-year-old from upstate New York totally nailed it. Here are some other child heroes who deserve our praise.
Danny DiPietro, Age 10
DiPietro’s story, fortunately, has a happier ending than Doohan’s. According to Today, DiPietro was coming home from lacrosse practice with his dad last Saturday night when he thought he spotted a dog lying in the open garage of a condo complex near his home in Howell, Michigan. DiPietro’s parents almost blew him off, assuring him that no one would leave a dog in such brutal temperatures, but “Thankfully, he was persistent,” his mother said. To put her child’s mind at ease, Dawn, 44, went to check on the sight and discovered that it wasn’t a dog lying in the open garage, but an 80-year-old woman who’d fallen. She’d been stuck there in below-freezing temps for about an hour and would have probably died had DiPietro not followed his instincts.
Zna Gresham, Age 10
Zna Gresham makes our list because the little lady stepped up and caught a one-month-old child dropped from the second floor of a burning apartment building. The blaze had started on the first floor, trapping victims inside. Their only option was to escape via the window. While two sustained injuries in the effort, the baby would have likely died had Zna not been able to catch it. “It took all of my family to help get the babies out and help save a family,” Gresham told WSB-TV. “In our family, we take care of our neighbors, no matter what.”
Temar Boggs, Age 15
Boggs and his friend Chris (no last name, unfortunately) joined an effort to find kidnapped Jocelyn Rojas, a five-year-old who vanished from her home at Lancaster Township in Pennsylvania. After an hour of searching, the two boys spotted Rojas in a car and started chasing the kidnapper through traffic on their bicycles. When the driver noticed, he stopped and let Rojas out, then sped off. The little girl ran to her rescuers and waited to be reunited with her family.
Joshua Garcia, Age 8
The Massachusetts boy saved his father’s life after their car crashed into the Nashua River. To pull off the feat, Garcia left the car, swam to shore, and walked a mile to his home, “barefoot and drenched,” authorities said. Once there, he told his mother about the accident and got her to call 911. Garcia and his dad were taken to a hospital, treated, and later released.
[Image via NY Daily News]