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7/20/10

The Passing of a Hero - Nate Henn 1985-2010

When you hear the news that scores of people are murdered by a terrorist bomb in a faraway place, you shudder. But in that little quiet place in the back of your mind, you dare not even whisper to yourself , "thank goodness that didn't happen here... it's in Uganda this time...it's really far away."

It helps people to cope, it's in our shared human nature. Can you actually get numb to this stuff? Can you hear about it so often it just doesn't register the same way anymore?

Countries don't move, but Uganda just got a lot closer. Too close for comfort. And the blast that took so many lives was felt by thousands upon thousands more. My family felt the shock wave even though we were on the farthest periphery.

You might have read the headlines, which included the phrase, "one American was killed." That one American was Nate Henn. Nate was a hero, and he was loved by someone we love. That's how the blast was felt by us. When someone you love is hurting, you are hurting too.

I have written about heroes here before.You may have read those essays  Most of them were heroes because of something they did. Nate Henn is a different kind of hero. He is not a hero because of the way he died, or why he died. He is a hero because of how he lived.

Heroes are among us. Mostly we never notice them. Look around you sometime, you might see one. And none of the real heroes consider themselves as such. Nate was one the day before he left us. Maybe we didn't notice until he was gone.

I never met Nate. I never even heard of him before the horrific crime which killed him was committed. Now I feel as if I knew him because he lived next door. If you watch the video below, I am certain you will feel the same way. Maybe you will feel moved to support The Invisible Children, his mission in this life.

Nate, God bless you for the work you did to make the world a better place. I never met you, but now I will never forget you.

3 comments:

Bryan said...

Thanks, Grant. This is a beautiful and poignant tribute to one of life's true heroes-- those who live humbly in service to others, asking nothing in return.

May Nate's light shine on. May his life be an example to us all.

Grant Davies said...

Amen. We are all blessed when our lives are touched by such people. You were particularly blessed to have been his friend.

Leah said...

Thank you for this blog post, Dad.