I've been to the beautiful, friendly city of Munich twice, once for pleasure and once for research. Because Munich is my novel's setting, I have spent many hours there in my head as well. That makes the recent horror there all the more painful. The news coverage gives us terrible details about the event, and in a short time everyone knows the shooter's name, age, and background. Perpetuating the perpetrator. Perpetuating the prejudice.
And yet I'm sure someone in that mall acted valiantly. No doubt someone sheltered a frightened child, protected a potential victim at risk to his or her own self. Soon, I hope, we'll hear about a 'hero' we can all admire.
Which reminds me of this seldom-told tale which got little (or no) publicity at the time about terror in another city I love, my hometown of NYC. The video below narrated by Tom Hanks was not made until years later. But stories like this are the ones that deserve the most publicity, the ones I hope we remember.
On 9/11, the greatest boat rescue in world history plucked half-a-million terrified people off the south end of Manhattan in just 9 hours. Some of the boats were privately owned, others were Coast Guard vessels, ferries, tugs, and tour lines. In the uncertain and frightening events of that day in NYC, these courageous boat owners and captains risked their own lives, driving the flotilla right into the smoke and debris of lower Manhattan.
I choose to focus on these heroes. I choose to tell stories about those who chose right.