Charles Ramsey speaks to reportersCredit: Zennie62 on Flickr

Charles Ramsey is a hero, despite his own denial of the fact. This man heard a commotion and checked for the cause. Three women were being held hostage for years right next door to his house. Charles stepped in and brought a quick end to the horrific situation. He is a hero because he did the right thing.

In society today, doing the right thing is increasingly rare. Many crimes go unreported because people are incredibly reluctant to make police reports. Witnesses are often unwilling to make statements. Criminals go unpunished as a result. When there are no consequences, criminals continue to violate laws and more victims suffer. Too many people are silent which ends up being a silent vindication of criminal behavior.

In the case of the three women abducted in Cleveland, a series of terrible circumstances conspired to allow criminals to hold the women for an incredibly long time. There were a few signs over the years which, unfortunately, did not lead to the end of the horroric confinement. The poor women were not lucky enough to have a true champion come to their aid. Not until Charles Ramsey, and others, finally found out about the crime. Charles, though, immediately did the right thing. Working with at least one other neighbor, he ended situation and called for police.

In the process, Charles became known to the world. He was a delight to watch as he explained some aspects of the part he played in the ending of the abduction. He also conveyed how terrible the overall situation was. He was honest in his reporting. People realized that three women, thought to be dead, were alive due to the actions of regular people in a Cleveland neighborhood. There was no agenda expressed, except for the desire to help women in obvious need. There was a clear description of the initial rucous, the rescue, the call to emergency services and the police response. Normal, but necessary.

No one in the world wanted to hear of the life these women were subjected to during their long, terrible ordeal. The barbaric criminals had been free to do anything they desired for far too long. Searches for the missing women had essentially been useless for years and years. That ended, finally, on May 7, 2013.

The initial reward for Charles Ramsey was notoriety. Millions of people saw the man and heard his words, as he was interviewed for television news. His reports were quickly published on the Internet. He was celebrated in song that added to his personal legend, not detracted from it. The public was able to see how a normal person could suddenly be thrust into the spotlight as he responded to a situation that no one would ever want to be near. He handled the reporters with grace and kept his unique personality throughout. He earned the respect and admiration of many, perhaps millions of people.

It was, therefore, very disturbing to see that at least a few news agencies immediately started to fish for additional news by digging into Charles' past. They found transgressions and broadcast a new update to the story of the abducted women of Cleveland. The problem was, the new angle to the story was quite trivial in comparison to the enormity of kidnapping, rape and forceable confinement. No matter, the news is the news. The problem is that the news was now seeking to equate old wrongs to a shocking current story. This was just wrong.

Mr. Ramsey paid the price for his past issues. He devoted himself to making improvements. He was forgiven by the state and those that he hurt. He was clearly rehabilitated. He was a different person, one could argue, than the young confused man who had anger issues in the distant past. It was his actions on May 7, not his history, which suddenly made him newsworthy. For the national news to report otherwise was a gross deriliction of their duty, not Mr. Ramsey.

Charles Ramsey saved three women who were abducted years, and years, and years ago. He put himself in possible danger to be righteous. He worked with others to bring humanity back to an inhuman situation. All the while, he managed to inject some humor into those terrible news reports that day. He was a reluctant hero. When he was told about the reward money, not an insignificant sum, he dismissed it. "Give it to the women", he said. More absolute heroics from a great man.

Some think that the events of the day thrust a normal man into the spotlight and mocked him for it. Others know that the news of May 7, 2013 showed that a normal man can rise to higher levels of performance. Some can do the right things and others can't. Charles did. He took a step towards investigating, then helping, a person in distress. He continued to help. He worked with others. He rescued people and ended a terrible crime. He was in danger, to be sure. The title of "Hero" was surely earned.

In the days since, news reporters have sought the heroes of that day. The initial news was the amazing return of three women thought to be long dead. The events of the day, the capture of the criminal were amazing. All of it was splashed on the Internet, as it happened. The events must be broadcast so that people can know that relatively good outcomes can still develop when little hope remains. Heroes are made on such days.

Charles Ramsey is a hero for his dedication to decency which he showed on May 7, 2013. He may not think so, but he is a hero, and he should be celebrated for his effort to save real people in terrible harm. The vast majority of Internet readers of the news will always remember the normal man from Cleveland for his heroic deeds, his willingness to help others and his disregard for his own safety. Charles deserves all accolades that he receives. He is worthy of respect and emmence thanks.

Image courtsey of zennie62 on