Anaiah Tucker: Courage

“They were halfway across the road, holding hands as they always did on their way to meet the school bus, when 9-year-old Anaiah Tucker and her 5-year-old sister, Camry, saw the truck bearing down on them. There wasn’t time for both of them to escape. And so, in an act of sisterly love and selfless courage, Anaiah pushed her little sister to safety and took the full impact herself.

She had just one thought, she said Wednesday; her little sister ‘was too young to be hit like this, and if she got hit she wouldn’t hardly be alive. She would be probably gone forever.’

Yet that brave big sister, who lost a leg and nearly her life that day, does not believe that she is a hero. ‘I feel like one, but I really didn’t deserve to be one,’ Anaiah told Ann Curry on TODAY. ‘I love her so much.'”

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Hideaki Akaiwa: A Real Superhero

“This is Hideaki Akaiwa. When the Tsunami hit his home town of Ishinomaki, Hideaki was at work. Realising his wife was trapped in their home, he ignored the advice of professionals, who told him to wait for the army to arrive to provide search and rescue.

Instead he found some scuba gear, jumped in the raging torrent – dodging cars, houses and other debris being dragged around by the powerful current, any of which could have killed him instantly – and navigated the now submerged streets in pitch dark, freezing water until he found his house. Swimming inside, he discovered his wife alive on the upper level with only a small amount of breathing room, and sharing his respirator, pulled her out to safety.

If he had waited for the army, his wife of 20 years would be dead.”

He has since rescued his mother and continues to patrol the streets, saving lives.