“He Who Saves One Life Saves The World Entire.” Talmud

What makes a hero?

All of us have heard about certain individuals who have become heroes when they were least expecting to. This may account for the fact that heroes are not born but rather made by circumstances.

What is your definition of a hero?

Describe the characteristics of a hero.

Cite a specific incident or circumstance where you believe someone acted heroically.

Please be specific and detailed in your response. I want to know why you chose the particular person that you did and why. What did this person do that led you to say, “he/she is a hero.” I am not looking for you to tell me about family members whom you look up to. Think beyond. Think about past and present history/news.

You all the know the story of Anne Frank. Anne and her family and friends were able to survive in the secret annex for such a long period of time only because they were aided by Miep Gies and others who were willing to risk their own lives in order to help the Frank family. When interviewed after the war, Miep said, “We did what we could. We were not heroes. We were ordinary people.” Can you give examples of ordinary people who have given selflessly of themselves for another?

Many of you are getting confused between a role model or idol, leader, and a hero. A hero is an ordinary person who does something extraordinary for someone else, without little care to the danger of his own life or any fanfare. Remember the Virginia Tech tragedy? Would you consider the elderly professor, (who happened to be a Holocaust survivor) who died after shielding his students with his body a hero? I would. Think along these lines.

Please do not use any of the people in the video as your hero. They are just examples to get you thinking.


  1. A hero is someone who risks themselves to help others. The people who actually do this are few and far between. One person who I think risked himself is Dr. Thomas Barnardo. He took in children who had escaped poor countries and gave them food and water. He was the first modern child abuse activist and took in many children for abuse reasons.

    In World War I he took in many fleeing children from all over Europe. He fed them, gave them a new home, gave them school supplies, and sent them to school. He set up one of the first children charities that are still run today. At the time of his death in 1905 there were 96 families taking in children, and 8,500 children that he had helped.

    Right now the Barnardo Children’s Charity has now helped 110,000 children. The organization also has multiple orphanages and helps many young families. One man’s dream that started in 1866 has now grown into a big organization that is still keeping that dream alive.

  2. Sure super-man might be a hero, saving people from burning buildings, stopping bad guys but we have real people doing that every day, without tights. Firemen, policemen, just normal people going through their lives doing the smallest things that might help a person who might help a friend and so on. A hero doesn’t have to hit a walk-off homerun a hero is a person who is always there when someone needs help or to pick them up when their down. A hero is a nice person, always generous. A hero doesn’t deny help, they are out there looking for it.

    A time when I believed someone did a heroic thing was when I broke my arm. I was playing on a trampoline with my friend and i jumped got hit and fell bad. When I was yelleing he comforted me through the whole thing I could have freaked out so much more but his comforting words kept me calm. I call this person a hero because he has helped me through other time to. He could have easily freaked out to but he stayed so calm which helped me out a lot.

  3. An example of a hero is Captain C.B. Sullenberger. He skillfuly landed a plane in the Hudson River. Sullenberger was the first on the plane and the last one off. Caring for only others life Sullenberger did one of the most heroic things for years to come.

  4. I think an apropriate definition of a hero would be a person who puts his life in danger to save or rescue others. There are only a few everyday heroes in the world but I wanted to mention one: Steve Cooper. One ordinary morning in a small town in Kentucky, Steve notices a small fire in the horizon, then he realizes it’s not an ordinary fire, a truck was burning. Inside, a 38 year old boy was struggling for his life, his seatbelt would not detach. Steve ran for the truck, jumped through the window and resued the man. Steve was 51, so he definetly made a great effort rescuing the man. He was very lucky but still risked his life for someone else which I think is a great heroic act.

  5. I think a hero is someone who thinks about other people before he thinks about himself.
    A hero is someone who wants to help everyone, and who takes a lot of responsibility and braveness.
    The word hero is a very powerful word, and it means a lot too.
    It says a lot about people that see things happen, like when someone falls and breaks his leg, and a person helps him and calls the ambulance, then that is what I think is a hero.
    But there is different kinds (“species”) heroes, like there’s heroes that help industrial, economical, social, and many other kinds.
    My personal favorite category is the charity one, where clothes, and money get donated to states and countries that don’t have a good economy or that just had a tropical storm and where everything is economical not that good.

  6. A hero to me is a person who does things for others, when they don’t have to. They risk their own lives just to save other peoples lives. A definition of a hero would be a person who loves to help others. Anyone can be a hero. A hero has to be loving, brave, and determined.
    An example of a hero would be during the incident of 9/11. Many firefighters went to help the people in the burning buildings when they didn’t have to. A lot of those firefighters died that day, but while saving lives. And some even made it out safe with people that were hurt, but they saved them. I think that these people are very generous, caring, and brave to have done such a thing. That day and all of the people that have died, will always be remembered.

  7. A hero is someone who someone can look up to. A hero is somone that does what they feel is right with nothing in return. They get nothing but pride and self happiness.

    A hero is someone who is helpful, nice, and someone who cares about the world becoming a better place. A hero is someone who loves to help. A hero is someone who sacrifices themselves for others.

    An example of a hero is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks went to jail because she stood up for what she believed in. She knew that refusing to let a white person take her spot was the right thing to do. She changed black history forever.

  8. A hero can be anyone. I think that a hero is just an ordinary person who does extraordinary things. It’s the kind of person who is willing to risk their life for someone else, even a stranger. To me, a hero is someone who is selfless, courageous, kind, and most of all, hopeful. A hero needs to be hopeful because they should always look on the bright side of things and know that everything will be okay.

    Not long ago, a friend of ours did something amazing. Her nephew needed a kidney and she volunteered to give him one of hers. This is a very painful and stressful proccess. But she did not think of how it would affect her, all she wanted was for her nephew to live. I chose this person because I think it is incredible what she did. How she didn’t have to do the surgery and go through all the pain, but she knew that it was the right thing to do. I will always think of her as a hero.

  9. I think a Hero is someone who does something for someone or someones that helps then drasticly.

    the characteristics of a hero would have to be, unselfish, kind, honest, and respectful

    When me and my freind Cody Tyler were thinking about a halfpipe in my yard. we both came up with the money and split it, we bought all the materials for it. My dad is the hero in this story, he built the whole thing and put up with kids in his backyard almost everyday. he even fixes it when it needs to be.

  10. I think that a hero can be anyone or anything that risks his or hers life for another without expecting something back in return.

    The characteristics of a hero be be; kind, loyal, honest, and definitly hopeful.

    During 9/11, many firemen and police officers risked their lives to get as many people they could out of the building in time. Most of them lost their lives or got severly injured. They were heroes to me. Also while I was watching the rerund of 9/11 I saw people jumping out of the windows of the building just to resist the fire, burning them. Then when those fire men went inside the building, I was hoping that most of them would come out alive. Then when the first building fell down, I was about to cry. Those people were definitly heroes.

  11. I think a definition of a hero is someone who does not care what the reward he or she gets from doing something good for someone else. A hero helps other people because he or she wants to.

    The characteristics of a hero is courageous, outgoing, and respectful.

    When my dad was on the interstate driving home, he noticed a car in front of him was smoking. He thought quickly and decided to pull the car of the road. The driver of the car did not notice the smoke. A minute later the drivers car erupted in flames. My dad did a good deed for the day and I consider him a hero.

  12. The defenition of a hero is someone who goes above and beyond to help other people, they do the right thing, and are not nearly close to being self centered, they rescue people without caring how they look or act like, the hero also does something without excpecting any reward.

    These are some characteristics of a hero, a hero is courageous, decisive, helpful, courteous, kind,dedication to selfless service, and determanation to do what is right.

    When the plane tried to crash in to the pentagon, all the people in that plane were heroes, and still are, they risked their lives to save the pentagon, in the plane all those people went to the back of the plane, so the plane would fall backwards not in to the pentagon, the heroes on that plane risked their own lives for the US pentagon.

  13. A hero does random acts of kindness to people or a thing that may need help and isn’t paid for it.
    A hero is someone that does something out of the ordinary to help someone and isn’t paid for it.
    A hero is so brave that they will risk there lives for other people. A hero is also kind and trustable.
    A couple ears ago there was an incident where a man broke into a house when the people the lived there were out of town. One of there fiends down the street saw a car that they didn’t know and one of the windows broken and called the police and also went into the house, without a gun, and almost got shot. He found the man and got him arrested. He himself was a policeman. I think he was a hero because he risked his life when not on the job and not getting paid to help a friend.
    My grandparents know one person named Able Anderson who gave his life for another. It was a little boy who almost got shot and he jumped in front to save him. There was also another time when some man fell in the tracks of a subway and got him out just in time to get himself out.

  14. My definition of a hreo is someone who risked their life to help someone in danger.

    My hero is a freind of my parents. When I was four I knew how to swim but for a long time, I havent swim so when I jumped in the pool, I looked like I was having fun but I was actually tring the keep my head above the water. So When my hero realised that is wasen’t having fun but tha I was trying to keep my head above water, he jumped into to the pool and but me on the side.

    1. @thibaut15, sorry for that I accidentely pressed submit.

      My definition of a hreo is someone who risked their life to help someone in danger.

      A hero is courageous, nice, brave and helpful to people

      My hero is a freind of my parents. When I was four I knew how to swim but for a long time, I havent swim so when I jumped in the pool, I looked like I was having fun but I was actually tring the keep my head above the water. So When my hero realised that is wasen’t having fun but tha I was trying to keep my head above water, he jumped into to the pool and but me on the side.

  15. My definition of a hero, is someone who saves or makes a difference in just one life even, that cares nothing about how they could get hurt themselves. A hero is an ordinary person who does extraordinary things, but not thinking about fame or fortune, only about helping another. A hero is a brave person who will risk anything to save a life, whether they know the person or not.

    I have two examples of a hero, one famous, one not.

    Everyone knows Harriet Tubman, the woman who went back to her homeland twenty-six times, to save other slaves. She was wanted dead by everyone that was for slavery. She fought in the civil war, and was a nurse. At the age of six, a slave from her wrok section jumped on a horse and tried to run. She saw an over seer of the area pick up a brick to try to know him down. Harriet stood in the way of the brick. The slave got away but Harriet had mind issues the rest of her life, like falling asleep at any given moment. She never complained. She just thought of how she had
    saved their life and went on to save many more. She was a true hero.

    This next story happens a lot…. we just don’t hear about it. In Burlington, Wisconsin, three boys were home alone, sixteen year old Alex Rupp (a boy scout), his little brother, and his brother’s friend. They heard the warning that a tornado was coming. The young boys went down to the basement while Alex warned all his neighbors. Right as the tornado struck, Alex ran downstairs and covered the young boys from the falling debris. The building collapsed around them but Alex didn’t move. After the storm, all the boys climbed out of the rubble. Alex and the boys had slight injuries but nothing severe. Instead of worrying about their own injuries, they spent the day going around the neighborhood helping all the other victims of the storm. No one got hurt too badly thanks to the quick help of the boys and the neighbors.

    Both Harriet and Alex, are real heroes.

  16. I think what makes a hero is a person that has helped somebody when they were in trouble. It doesn’t have to be anything big. My definition of a hero is someone who has helped somebody else when they were in trouble. The characteristics of a hero are caring, compassionate, and wanting to help. The circumstance in which I believe that someone acted heroically is when 67 year-old McClure went out to wade a football feild’s length far off shore in Sarasota. It was starting to get dark so he was going to head back to shore. Went he went to head back, he couldn’t stand in any direction when before he could. He decided to just swim for but he got sucked under when he did. When he managed to get his head up he screamed HELP. There were three college students sitting up on shore who heard him scream. They decided they needed to jump in and save him. They threw off their shoes and swam to him, they were good swimmers. When they got to him he was unconsciousness and losing his breathe. There took off his water-filled shirt and grabbed him under the arms. They swam him up to shore where there were already ambulances. I chose these girls because they saved McClure from drowning.

  17. My definition of a hero would be an ordinary person who does something extraordinary. I think the charictaristics of a hero are to be courageous and modest. I think a hero has to be modest because if they brag about theirself then they will look like a jerk. I think Rosa Parks was a hero, because she stood up for her rights by not moving to the back of the bus. Rosa got arrested just for refusing to move to the back of the bus. All because the African Americans boycotted the buses until they could sit where they wanted. The buses lost a lot of money up to the point that they let the African Americans sit where ever they wanted. Since this was a huge step toward African American rights is why I think Rosa Parks is a hero

  18. What make a hero is when someone goes out of their way to put their own life in danger to save others. My definition of a hero is someone who is willing to risk their lives for someone eles not even someone they know. The characteristics of a hero would be corageous , respectful, and someone with a lot of guts. They woud have to be courageous because they arent even thinking about themselves they st throw themselves into danger to save or help someone else. They would need to be respectful because if they dont treat people with it after what happened they will turn out to be someone no one wants to be around. You all probably remember the virginia tech shooting well the pofe3ssor who was shot put his body in front of the student and got shot for them.

  19. I think a hero is someone who doesn’t think of what they are about to do, they just do it. Say a person is walking down the street and they see a person with headphones in walking across the street and a car is coming. If they were a true hero they would immediately react and say pull the person out of the street. If they were only thinking of the reward they would get or if they would be on the news then they would not be a hero. They would be what I like to call, an attention seeker. Not a true hero.

    A hero is Martin Luther King Jr. He helped african americans to be free because he knew it was the right thing to do. He wasn’t thinking how much publicity it would get him. He was thinking of the importance that all citizens in America were free. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was not only a hero to african americans, but a hero for the U.S.A. After him everybody treated each other with respect and equality.

  20. Sadly when I first read the prompt I automatically thought of Sullivan Berger but seeing he was in the video I began to think what is a hero and I thought that someone who is a hero is someone who puts there self at risk to protect, save or help. I think to be a hero you have to prove to yourself that you are doing good even if no one knows about it. A hero would need to be brave and have courage. But also to be noble. A hero that would come to mind is Oskar Schindler. Schindler was a man who had saved thousands and thousands of jews during world war ll. He saved people from the ghettos and stole kids freeing them to polish nuns. He also had his own fake ghetto where many would go Nazis thinking that it was like any other. When he had done this it not only risked his life but many of the jews lives.

  21. My definition of a hero is an ordinary person who puts his or her life in jepodary to help someone else. A hero can be anyone- even you or me. However, to me a hero is usually an unsung person who goes beyond the call of duty and helps someone who is in need of help.

    Some characteristics of a hero are bravary and a williness to do a most dangerous act to save someone, as a hero may have to be willing to jump in front of a car to save someone’s life that they do not know or have even met. I find a true hero to not expect a reward for their bravery or courageous act or to become famous, but to just save that person because it was the right thing to do. Most heros just act suddenly to save that life or help that person sometimes without thinking of the conseqence.

    A specific instance where someone acts heroically is the daily lives of firefighters. When that alarm tells them a fire needs to be put out they spring into action to help people and save their houses. One day last year a house just three doors down from my house, burst into flames for no apparent reason. Someone called 911 and the firefighters came really faster. The firefighters looked at the house and went in to make sure everyone was safe and then they sprayed the fire down with their giant hose. When the flame was out no one was hurt but the garage black with ash. When the firefighters finished they stepped back looked at their work and took off without even asking for anything in return. Now thats what I call heroes.

  22. I think that a hero is someone that helps someone or something for no exchange in return. A hero actually cares and would do anything for anyone.

    The definition of hero is someone that would do anything for someone else and not give attention towards themselves. They would even risk their own life for someone in need, if needed.

    A young hero, Lilly ended up saving her nephew Adrian’s life. This is how it happened. One day, Adrian was out and about playing in his neighbor hood when his mom and Aunt realized that they hadn’t seen him in a long time. They checked outside, and found out that he was missing. They searched everywhere until finally they heard his voice, screaming for help. They followed his voice and found him inside a well, holding on to the rocks and concrete on the sides of the wall. The well went down 15 feet, until it reached the water. He was shivering and cold. He slipped and fell into the water three times and tried to climb back up. The well was only about 14 inches across, and his mom realized that she couldn’t fit in there, to try to help him. Thats when 18 years old Lilly, decided she had to go down and help her nephew. The adults called 911, and with the help of Lilly, they saved 6 year old, Adrian’s life.

  23. My definition of a hero is anyone who does something for others even if they don’t know them, or don’t like them. A true hero doesn’t think of the reward they get they just go head and do it. A hero doesn’t constantly do great things, but does it once when he or she is needed.

    A hero is courageous and willing. They are honest. Heroes don’t think about themselves, they think about others before themselves.

    The first person I think of when I hear the word hero is Captain Sullenberger. When he had to “land” that plane in the Hudson river he wasn’t doing it so he could be on television, he was did it to save all the people on that plane. And afterwards, he went to his interviews and he spoke for the news, but he didn’t exaggerate. We aren’t hearing about it now. He had his time and moved on. He was a true hero and without him many people wouldn’t be alive today.

  24. I believe a Hero is someone who gives something up unselfishly for another person. A hero is brave and courageous. They risk something so that someone else can have something. A hero often sacrifices their own safety for someone or a group of people they don’t even know. This is a great quality to be able to have. The best example of a hero I can think of is someone who serves in our military. They risk their lives day in and day out so that we can be safe. Sometimes they sacrifice time with their own families to protect us. Also soldiers go out of the country and live in difficult conditions so that we can live comfortably here in the U. S. A. These heros make these sacrifices for no personal gain.

  25. My description of a hero is someone who gives of themselves for unselfish reasons and doesn’t except anything in return. Anyone can be a hero. You don’t always have to be famous or recognized for your actions. It’s sometimes the little things that count. I believe the firefighters in 9/11 were really true heroes. Many of them weren’t on duty but risked their lives by going into the burning buildings. I believe that these people were brave, courageous, and unselfish individuals. These firefighters were not just doing their job but being the real definition of heroes.

  26. A hero doesn’t have to have super powers or fame. A hero is someone who helps a person/many people, not because it will benefit them, but because it will benefit the other person/people. A hero can be anyone who knows what the right thing to do is. I also agree with Sionna15 “a hero is someone who doesn’t think about what they are about to do, they just do it.”

    A hero doesn’t necessarily have to be a person either, on 9/11 for example, a blind man working on one of the higher floor levels in one of the twin towers. He had a guide dog with him and when he heard a loud boom from the crash into the other building he sent the dog out of his office so that at least the dog would be safe. The dog started down the stairs and realized that the blind man wasn’t following, the dog went back to get the blind man and wouldn’t leave without him. This is a great example of loyalty from a dog and also a great example of a hero.

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