Monday, April 19, 2010

Carnegie Hero Winners Meet Across Generations

My son won a Carnegie Hero medal last week. The awards are rare, and I have never met anyone else who has won one. Eli has not either, but tonight he did get a chance to meet another Carnegie winner who won her medal 55 years ago at age 11.

Dianne Kearney Scott was only 11 years old when she pulled her Nana out of the river. She was fishing with her twin sisters and had on wading boots so after one try she went back to shore and shed her boots and pulled out her caretaker who has passed out and fallen in the water. The woman she saved weighed over double Dianne.

Eli was at a grill out with the family when a teenager yelled for help. The Yadkin River was raging like the ocean, flooded by rain. There were at least 100 people on the banks, but he is the only one who jumped in to help. I can't say I blame anyone. The conditions were not fit for being in the water.

Both these stories over a half century apart had happy endings, but about 20 percent of Carnegie medals are awarded to families who lost loved ones trying to help out and do the right thing.

Mrs. Scott saw Eli's article in the paper and called West Rowan High School to see about making contact. She wanted to meet Eli. In all these years, she has not met another Carnegie medal winner. He went right over this evening, and he got to meet another hero and got to see her Carnegie medal (his has not come in yet).

I sent my camera and told him to see if he could get a hero picture, and someone shot one for us. I will always treasure that.

Mrs. Scott lives right across the road from where I work at Catawba College. I plan to go meet her and thank her for being such a great person too. Eli said she was the nicest lady he ever met. He was real impressed. I guess heroes are like that. They care day to day as well as when it is a life or death situation.

Stay safe on your cook outs and picnics or when you go fishing, but if something comes up, I hope you hve heroes like Eli or Mrs. Scott on hand. They are both quiet about what they did and just thought it was the right thing to do, but not many people who chance the same to help someone out.

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