Archived Story

Would that it were the case

Published 8:00pm Monday, June 9, 2014

A single act of heroism last week has put the name Jon Meis in headlines across the globe. Meis is the Seattle Pacific University student who subdued a gunman who had shot and killed one student and wounded three others. Meis waited until the gunman was reloading his shotgun and took him out of commission with pepper spray and with the help of other students, subdued him until law enforcement arrived.

Meis is being hailed as a hero for the act and the people of Seattle have reached out to him in an unexpected way. Meis is getting married this month and he and fiancée are registered online. Not only was their entire registry purchased by appreciative strangers, but someone else set up a page on the website to send them on a honeymoon. The woman who created the page had a goal to raise $5,000. As of Monday afternoon, nearly 1,700 people had donated — the most, $1,000 from one very generous person; the least, many $5 and $10 donations that add up. And they did add up. Only 48 hours after the page had been set up to accept donations, the amount raised stood at $50,110. That’s likely enough to send the new couple on a really nice honeymoon, pay off some of their student loan debt and make a down payment on a house.

It’s a wonderful gesture on the part of people across the country, to literally reward heroism.

Would that all heroes were rewarded in the same way.

Firefighters. Law enforcement. EMS. Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. Coast Guard. Telecommunicators. Heroes are thick on the ground, working to save lives every day, and often for low pay. The average wage for a firefighter in the U.S. is $34,200.

Teachers. They are children’s heroes, shaping their lives and education. The average salary for teachers in North Carolina is $45,737.

“I would like to truly thank the responders who secured the building and the medical staff who looked after myself and those who were injured. After being in this situation myself, it is even harder to imagine what it would be like to have a job where one’s life is willingly put on the line every day. To our police, emergency responders, and armed forces, you have my greatest respect.”

Those are the words of Jon Meis, from a statement released Monday afternoon.

Perhaps is the wave of the future: an appreciative public showing their appreciation for everyday heroes, a $5 donation at a time.

In his statement, Meis “strongly requested” any future donations go to the victims through SPU.



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