What Makes A Hero?

Students, since we have begun our hero unit with the reading of Harry Potter and The Hobbit, I would like to open up discussions on the essential question: What makes a hero? Using the short documentary BoatLift, An Untold Story of 9/11 Resilience to guide your thinking, please craft a well-detailed paragraph and include the following elements:

What is your definition of a hero? Include the qualities and what a hero means to you.

When you watched the video, what struck you (stood out for you) about the boat captains/workers?

What particular images demonstrated heroism?

In their own powerful words, the boat captains/workers narrated the events from that day. What is one stand-out thing you remember from what was said?

After watching the video, I….(finish the sentence)

Begin your paragraph with a creative lead-in sentence and end with a concluding sentence that sums up all your ideas. NO repeating the first line, or saying in conclusion, or that is why…think!

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82 comments

  1. Heros are very helpful and important in life. My definition of a hero is a person who actually cares for people. They do the right thing. They are helpful people. The workers stood out to me because they saved the people in Manhattans lives. They were being very very kind. Something that really stood out to me was when this one boater called to every boat and told them to ride over to Manhattan and get as many people in the boat as they could. The workers had never seen that many boats in a hour come together to save lives. The images showed me heroism because there were hundreds of boats out there saving each other. There was this one guy who was a worker and I remember what he said because he wanted to save lives. He said to his wife that he had to get to the people on the island and save them. He wanted to be a hero! After watching the video, I was sad and happy. I was sad because it is depressing seeing people cry and screaming and dying! I was happy because seeing people risk their lives to save other people is doing the right thing and something you could never forget doing. Seeing other people happy makes me happy!

  2. It is definitely hard to be considered a hero. And sometimes when you do something heroic, you don’t get recognized at all. Sometimes it’s the little things that really matter to lead up to a big part in the chaos. All of the people who helped evacuate people on boats probably didn’t get recognized, but they still did it. They were risking their lives when they could have been safe and away from the panic. Bringing boats back and fourth to Manhattan, all day. Being heroic is that feeling when you put your self out in danger, knowing that they might die, but they also might save more lives. And this heroic man, who was safe at home, but choose himself to help evacuate people even though his wife tried to hold him back. He was going to do whatever it took to help more helpless people survive. Then so many other boats came to help! The one image with all those boats swarming by the Manhattan coast was very heroic also. Even though there might be conflicts and wars that being people apart, I can imagine all of that broke as there were so many people helping each other. One thing that really stood out to me was when one man exclaimed “There were so many boats coming to the harbor”. It made me look twice when I saw the picture! And all of the captains had no idea if another attack would occur! After watching the video, I was so amazed and scared for all the people who died in the towers. Thinking about what all of the people in the plane that was going to crash the White House made me realize how much horror they must have felt. Even though it wasn’t in the video, I believe those men and women in the plane where the true heroes after crashing the plane to save the White House. I don’t think I would have been able to even move if I were there. So many innocent people died, but so many other people were saved. The fear and adrenaline took over those people to make them stronger, to power and bring out the true hero in their hearts. And all those people now get to live with honor, knowing that they helped saved lives.

  3. Hero, what is a hero? Hero is a person, who is admired or thought highly of, for courage and outstanding achievements. But what I a think a hero is a person, man or women who cares about others just a little bit more than his or herself, a hero is a someone who stands up for something not is out of place, not right. When watching this video what really stand out in my mind was when all the boats small, big, tugboat, or fairy they all came as close as they could to the sea wall and rescued people, that many boats all a once to take people out of New York. Also what really stand out in my mind was this one guy, a worker who said “That you should never live life without saying I should have” which really hit me hard. Some images that recognize heroism is that everybody was helping everybody there were these four business men help one another, putting on life jackets, and helping them down into the boat. After watching this video, I was think life in a hole different way, I was wondering if one morning could this happen to us in Florida? Because one morning just boom 9/11, started and a tragedy has happened.

  4. A hero can help people in so many ways, one way is by helping people as much as they can. Another way is they put couples back together, they saved people by calling all boats possible. They also grabbed as many people possible. I thought that the boat captains made me feel very happy that they saved so many people. Their was over 15 boats so that shows that they really wanted to help and that makes me feel good. So images that show heroism are when all the boats came to save everyone and when they were stuck on Manhattan. One thing that I remember the captain saying is “I don’t care how many people get on, just get on!”
    After watching the video, I learned that when people really want something they can do it.
    I look up to the boat captains for helping all these people from a tragic event.

  5. My definition of a hero would be someone who saves his/her town not because they want to have all the attention or for a prize but because they want to help his/her town. A hero is also brave, not self centered, and takes many risks for his/her town. What stood out for me in this video is when one of the boats called in to all the other boats to come help to pick anyone up from Manhattan bombing attack. The part that struck me was that over over 50 boats came to pick people up. Everyone working together when this happened even if they liked the person or not the whole community became one person. The image that showed heroism is when a few guys lifted up a old woman and her dog to help her get on the boat. One thing that one of the narrators said that stuck out to me was “Never go through life saying that you should have done something.” that stuck out to me because sometimes I’ll come home from school and say I should have done this and I should have done that so from now on I will hopefully never come home again and say that. After watching the video I felt sorry for all of those innocent people that got hurt and had to go through that experience but I also felt like I wanted to go up to all the heroes that helped everyone and say thank you! This video really showed me how lucky I was to not experience a tragic event like that.

  6. My definition of hero is not superman, batman, wonder woman…well I guess they are. But MY definition is something different, not someone who has a power of shooting things out of his/her arms, or someone who can super-speed me to school if I am running a little late. My definition is someone who helps people in need, even without a cool name and suit. A superhero trait to me is kindness and caring for others, e.g., people who lend their notes to someone for a night, or help an old lady cross the street. Kindness can make someone’s day, for instance, the man at dairy queen who saw a blind man drop a twenty dollar bill. Another lady picked it up and put it in her purse. So he decided to kindly ask the lady to give it back, but she refused. So he did the right thing and gave the man a twenty dollar bill out of his own pocket. Now he is known in public and is receiving twenty dollar bills from other people thanking him for his kindness. That is a great example of a superhero. Even little thing like that makes you a superhero. In 9/11 people were terrified and were hugging their children and wives. Other boaters took loads of people across the water and saved their lives. They risked their lives to help others. That is a major superhero. Instead of changing a day of peoples lives they changed their whole lives. They were amazingly brave by risking their own lives to help other people in a disaster. This stood out so much to me. One boater who helped in 9/11 said,”I wasn’t going to just do nothing”. That was just so special because he pushed to help and wasn’t just going to stand there. He was thinking that before he even went out there. This man demonstrated heroism because he helped people in a huge disaster. Heroism is some who helps, anyone can be a hero, even you. Even though you may not know it yet, someday maybe you will be a hero.

  7. Heros do the right thing. My definition of hero is when people are helping other people and making others peoples day even the ones they don’t like or even know. When I was watching The video I really just loved the way everyone was helping one another even though they didn’t know them Like when four work men helped a blind lady and her service across the boat. Another thing that really stuck out for me was that one guy who just said I have to do this and there’s no way stopping me that stuck out for me because he was just so determined to help other people. When the captain called through the speaker and told everyone to come to lower Manhattan to help out, It was really heroism all of the boats came and the guy said ” in all of the years of boating life I have never seen this many boats all come together.” That really just stuck out for me as a heroism demonstration. It was really an important To me when one of the captions said that it was so important for him that everyone was helping everyone. After watching this video I felt sad and kind of depressed but so happy that most of the people were able to stay alive and reunite with their loved ones. It made me very sad and depressed that all of those people were such pain and that so many of those people died. I’m just praying for everyone who did lose a loved one especially the kids who lost their parents because I lost my father at a young age and it’s very hard for me. The video really made it easier for me to understand what was going on .

  8. After watching the watching the video, I have a new definition of what I think makes a hero. A hero is someone who doesn’t stand by watching. A hero is someone who jumps in and helps. It was a really brave act of heroism for the man to volunteer to take his boat out to Manhattan and take people to the main land, even though he was risking his life. In the video, the part that stuck out to me most was that all of those tugboats came from around New York to help evacuate everyone. That was a true act of heroism, that the captain of one of the boats called all of the other boats to help, and an even bigger act of bravery that they all came to help. That video really inspired me to be a hero.

  9. 9/11 was a tragic event were thousands of people died in just a short manner of time. However that day thousands of more people could have died if we didn’t have our heroes. When I say heroes I don’t mean like a super hero on television. I mean someone who helps others when they need help. Heroes are people like those boat captains who came out and risked their lives on 9/11 to help other people. Those boat captains made sure that that day they at least saved one person, because they knew that one person saved is one more person who was saved. And one day maybe I could be a hero. I believe that anyone can be a hero. You just got to do the right thing.

  10. A lot of people think a super hero is someone who defeat villains and kill monsters but A real hero to me is a person who help someone out in a time of need. Some qualities of a hero would be nice, and brave. One of the things that stuck out to me during the video was that the captain of the boats were so kind.One of the images that show showed here is him was the one with all the people rushing onto the bow and then going One of the clips that showed heroism is when captain of boat was getting a bunch of people onto his boat and then rushing of to a safer place. After watching the video I thought about all the people that helped that day but they never won awards. This has really inspired me to do something amazing.

  11. To me, a hero is someone who puts others first. A hero is someone who will do something even if its dangerous because they know that its the right thing to do, like how the captains in the video saved the people. That was really dangerous and risky and they knew it, but they still went because they knew that people were in danger. What stood out about the captains and workers is that they stayed all day and went back an forth, they wouldn’t give up until they knew that they helped everyone they could and to me, that showed heroism. Something that one of the captains said that I remember is even if they save just one person, they would be happy because that would be one more person that they knew wasn’t suffering. After watching the video I couldn’t believe the people covered in ash, they looked like zombies. If I ever met someone that did something like that, saved someone, I would definitely say that their a hero. I think that anyone can be a hero, you just have to wait for the right moment for it to show.

  12. From helping someone with their homework, to saving the world, the hero in you can come in many different forms. To be considered a hero in my eyes all you have to do is have a little courage and a little hope. They don’t have to be very big and they don’t even have to be human. You don’t have to save the world and you don’t have to have super powers. A hero puts other people’s needs before theirs. When watching the 9 11 video, something that struck me was that when they called on the radio they expected not to many boats to come. But it turns out it was the biggest boat rescue evacuation in history! The captains and random people saved 500,000 people. They said when they see a human being in distress it’s just human nature to help them. That showed heroism because they showed courage they hade hope and they put other people’s problems before them. Courage was shown because they didn’t know if there was going to be another attack but they still went to go and save them. Hope was shown because even though it was a couple boats at first they still wanted to evacuate everyone. This goes to show that you don’t need to have super powers to be a hero!

  13. Anyone can be a hero, whether that person has super powers or saved a kitten that was stuck in a tree. A hero to me is somebody who puts other people’s needs before theirs. When I watched the video I noticed that there were many everyday heroes such as the captains of the boats that took the people away from Manhattan. They put other people’s needs before theirs by making sure everybody got on the boat safely. They could have just left in their own boat and left everybody else behind, but they didn’t. Heroism stuck out in the video when the towers fell and the people of Manhattan were trying to save everybody in their town by bringing hundreds of boats back and forth to save everyone they could. One thing that really stood out to me and actually inspired to try harder to just do the right thing was when that one worker saw all the people suffering and he said to his wife ” I can’t just sit here and do nothing I have to go and save them!” After watching the video I felt lucky to have such great people in America that would do anything to save their loved ones. 9-11 was a sad day, but I would try and remember it as a day where heroes united.

  14. After I watch the video I learn that a hero is some one or something that helps people or to make the world a better place. Some times the hero doesn’t even know that they are being a hero. Like in the the video one phone call brought 15 to 20 big huge Boats. Take load after loads and loads of people. Saving people’s lives. Becoming heros by the scond.

  15. 9/11 was a tragic event and many innocent people died from it. The people who died were just at the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all it took for many lives to be taken from many people. Heroes are people who do everything that they can to try and help other people. Most people think of heroes as superheroes like bat man or superman, but any human has the possibility of being a hero, they don’t need a super power or a special talent. Many ordinary people decided to help those poor people who were caught in the tragic accident. I think that heroes are some of the most important people in the world because they try to save people even if they aren’t in the best shape themselves. In this story the thing that stood out most to me was how the boaters tried to get as many people as they could onto there boat and they always kept coming back to get another boatload of people. If we did not have heroes our world would be a mass.

  16. What do you think of when you think hero? You are probably thinking of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, or any other people with super powers. Well, you don’t need super powers to be considered a hero. A hero can be simply a person who stands up for a friend. In fact, a hero doesn’t have to be a person at all. My definition of a hero is a courageous person who puts other people’s needs before their own. When watching the 9/11 video, what struck me was how many boats came when the captain called for help. One of the captains said that he had been boating for decades, and he hadn’t seen that many boats come that fast. That showed heroism because the boaters put themselves in danger to save the lives of others. I remember one captain saying that he didn’t care if he saved just one person, because that would still be one person less to suffer. After watching the video, I realized that anyone can be a hero. Everybody has a little hero inside, you just need to be brave and let your inner hero show.

  17. In the 911 video there was many forms of powerful heroes. To me a hero is a person that does whatever it takes to help someone even when times get hard. Heroes are determined to help others and they are very kind. I thought it was amazing that the boat captains risked there lives to help people get off the land.The picture of all the boats scattered in the sea to escape made me think of heroism because everyone of those boat captains were saving several of lives. I remember hearing a captain say “I called every boat to pick up as much people as their boat can fit and there were more boats in the water that I’ve seen in a decade.” I loved how everyone was kind and helped each other survive. After watching the video I believe that everyone can be a hero if you set you mind to it. This story was very inspirational and makes me want to be a hero. There is even a hero in you!

  18. A hero is a person who tries their best to help people. If someone is in danger they try to give everything they have to save people life. Life without any heroes would be a disaster and have bad people all around. I think hero’s protect people because they have lots of respect in there heart to save people. When I watched the 9/11 video the heroes stood out to me and I was proud that they helped people. Also I felt bad about people who had to go though with that. Anybody could make there-self a hero easily. I heard that the boaters said that they looked like zombies from all the dust and stuff.

  19. After watching the video, I am struck about what these people did to save everyone in Manhattan. It was amazing how all the boats came over one call! It would be amazing if I got to meet these people. A hero means a savior to me. Many people died that day and it could have been avoided. Someone who really matters died on this day in history. I will never forget this day for as long as I live.

  20. What the word Hero means to me is someone that doesn’t give up. That does what they can. And don’t Say I should of they just go out and do it. A hero wants to help people their kind cofindent brave. I think what struck me was that how many people were trying to get out and on to a boat. What particular image showed heroism was when a blind person was trying to get on a boat ,with a seeing eye dog and to men lifted her up to get on the boat. One thing that boaters said that I will always remember is that he has been on the sea for 20 years and has never seen that many boats at the same time. After watching this video it makes me want to reall try my hardest to help people.

  21. 9/11 was tragic event that took many lives, but it would have taken even more if it wasn’t for those brave heroes who stopped what they were doing to help those innocent people. You don’t need to be big and strong and muscular to be a hero. You need to be brave. A hero is someone who puts others needs before theirs. It truly stood out to me how the captains and workers remembered so many little details about rescuing those people and it really seemed like what they did made a big impact on them. Heroism comes in many forms like driving into a cloud full of dust to save people, helping anybody get on the boat like, business men, elderly, babies and more, and not letting anybody stop you. Something that a man said in that video that I really remembered was “I knew at that moment, nothing could stop me from doing this.” After watching that video I realized you have to act quickly, because anything you think of, can be gone in an instant.

  22. Be a hero. It’s not that hard. To me, the definition of a hero is someone you can always count on to do the right thing. Someone that won’t spread rumors or say mean things about anyone, no matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s the meanest person in the world, that doesn’t mean that you know exactly every detail so that doesn’t give you the right to judge. Someone that will always be there to make sure that they can help anyone they can. To be there for you when you are sad, depressed, or just lonely at times. Someone that won’t judge a book by it’s cover. That, to me, is a true hero. When I saw those people taking out there boats to help people get off the island, I thought is was really heart warming because these were just everyday people, going about their normal, everyday lives, and decided to do the right thing. Decided to be a hero. The first man I saw in the video was a pure picture of heroism to me. He was a normal guy that decided that he needed to help these people get off this island, or they are going to die! He was the one who chose himself to help someone. I remember that guy saying, “Never go through life saying you should have.” And it is very true. If you go through life like that, you will miss out on so much in the present, thinking about the past. You need to live life to its fullest, and do things you are able to do now. After I watched this video, I realized that I AM SO LUCKY. I am so lucky to be in this expensive school, with fancy IPads and computers. And yet, I am spoiled. My problems in life aren’t nearly as bad as some other people. Like, for instance, when I get grounded I think my life is so terrible and I am so sad because I can’t watch T.V. or play Video Games. But some people, go through life with such big problems that I can’t even begin to imagine, that it makes me feel spoiled. So be a hero, and do the right thing.

  23. Imagine what it would be like to have a pet dragon. Well first of all it would be a female dragon called Scally, and she would be a light blue color but with silver stripes going horizontally down her body. One of her eyes would be red and the other green, she would also be able to fly, with her huge wings and I would ride Scally everywhere. I would feed her three chickens for breakfast, twenty fish for lunch and a sheep for dinner. We would play all the time and everyone would be so jealous but I would let most of them ride her (for a price), seeing as she is huge. But I would get angry when I take her out for a fly, and she eats a bird or two. On her birthday we would stay up and then we would sneak away to the beach (by flight) and play with the sand and the water.

    Scally isn’t a normal dragon who can breathe fire, she breathes weather. That probably sounds weird but she can breathe sun, rain, snow, hail and she can even puff clouds. It is so cool because it means that if the weather is too warm she can make it cold, and if it is too cold she can make it warm with the beams of sunlight that shoot from her mouth and I love it when she makes it snow, because I live in Florida and it is very hot. Scally is the BEST! If I had a dragon like her I would be the happiest person ever!

  24. I love my new pet she is so sweet and nice her name is Bella! Oh and yeah forgot to mention it’s a DRAGON! It’s a bizarre pet to have but it is so fun! It is not like a dog or a cat it’s…… well a dragon and she is a light lavender color with curly eye lashes, hot pink spots and she doesn’t breathe fire she breathes…Flowers! Bella isn’t a scary big dragon she a little one about 50 pounds. She has many talents like playing a mean game of soccer, her tail has the most powerful kick ever. She loves to play fetch, but her tail does slow her down a little! Her favorite thing to eat is mac and cheese with sprinkles and maple syrup! I know, it sounds gross and it is, but Bella loves it! Bella loves to snuggle with her favorite chew toy, her chew toy is a donut!!! I think every one should get a pet dragon,their the best!

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