Riskers

The Private

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“He brought four people out. When he went to bring a fifth person out, the fire caught up with him.”

Emmanuel Mensah, a Ghanaian immigrant, was a National Guardsman. Although not on duty two weeks ago, he remained true to his vocation.

 

The Philosopher

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Anne Dufourmantelle was at the beach last summer when she saw two children struggling in the water. She went in to rescue them, dying in the effort. She probably had a sense of the risk involved, as she was a student of the concept:

“We say in French ‘to risk one’s life,’ but perhaps we should say ‘to risk being alive.’ To be truly alive is a risk few take.”

 

The Bank Examiner

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Twenty minutes after the crash, the sun was going down, and no one had been able to reach the six survivors. They were doomed… until suddenly, miraculously, a rescue chopper came whisking across the darkening sky. It dropped a life ring right into the hands of one of the survivors and plucked him from the water. Then things turned really strange.

The next person to receive the ring handed it over to someone else. The chopper lofted her to safety, then wheeled back.

The man gave away the ring again.

And again.

Thirty-six years ago today, Arland D. Williams, Jr. was on a business trip when his flight crashed into the icy Potomac River. Until that moment he was, according to this profile, “a man whose life was a monument to playing it safe.” Williams helped five fellow passengers to safety before he went down with the plane.