A Real New York Hero
January 4th, 2007

Wesley Autrey, the man who saved a stranger from an oncoming subway train earlier this week, is reaping unexpected rewards. He was given the day off work, $5,000 in cash, future scholarships for his two daughters to attend a teen program at the New York Film Academy, and an offer for a televised apartment makeover. Not to mention a trip to Disney World.

Plus the hero-makers in the New York press are rushing to pay tribute to him.

Autrey, a construction worker, is doing work on a Brooklyn public school named after John Wayne. Michael Daly of the Daily News thinks the school should bear Autrey’s name instead of the actor’s from now on.

“John Wayne never did anything in real life remotely as brave as what Autrey did early Tuesday afternoon,” writes Daly. “The city should bestow Autrey with one more honor by renaming the John Wayne school after a real hero.”

For the New York Times, Autrey is not just a hero in his own right, but vindication for all New Yorkers who feel vilified by the country’s fixation on so-called “small town values.”

“The negative stereotypes about New York have never stood up to the facts. Uncharitable? New York ranks first in a newly released state-by-state study of giving by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Less committed than the rest of the country to the nations defense? New York City has lost more of its residents in battle in Iraq than the average state. Not willing to come to the aid of strangers? Mr. Autrey put that one to rest in dramatic fashion. Small-town values are certainly an important part of what makes America great, but so are big-city values, which in many cases are exactly the same.”

By on January 4, 2007, 7:32 am
In category: Gotham City | 7 Comments »

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7 Responses to “A Real New York Hero”

  1. Sue Beverley Says:
    January 4th, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I live in England but caught the coverage on the lunchtime news. What a hero, I was moved to tears by his bravery and am glad he seems to be getting the recognition he deserves. It is so nice to have a good news story for a change. Happy New Year to all!

  2. Mike C. Says:
    January 4th, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Mr. Autrey is definitely a hero- and we should all be making a big deal about it. He is a common man, not a firefighter or police officer that this type of act would be expected from. We make a bigger deal out of celebrity babies and marriages than a true hero. If we all had guts enough to risk our lives for our fellow human beings the way he did- or just even to stand up for a stranger being abused, than there wouldn’t be all this crime in the world. Thanks Mr. Autrey.

  3. Allyson Taylor Says:
    January 4th, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Wow. That’s amazing. I remember in high school we had to write a story on our real life hero. I am sure Autrey’s daughters will have a great man to write about. Truely amazing, and finally a good story. =)

  4. sarah haile Says:
    January 5th, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    wow, i was so amazed just then, i live in england/uk and just saw this on the news i could’nt beleive it. what a hero! happy new year everyone!

  5. Renee Wright Says:
    January 9th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Wow – this story is so heart wrenching, that it just gives me goose bumps. Such a heroic act that I get emotional just thinking about it. Autrey is definitely a brave soul and this story makes me proud to be an American. New Yorkers you should be proud!

  6. Baby suri - The year in movies  » celebritybabies Says:
    January 20th, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    […] 5 Responses to A Real New York Hero I live in England but caught the coverage on the lunchtime news. What a hero, I was moved to tears by his bravery and am glad he seems to be getting the recognition he deserves. It is so nice to have a good news story for a change. Happy New Year to all! […]

  7. Lil kim - Says:
    January 22nd, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    […] 5 Responses to A Real New York Hero I live in England but caught the coverage on the lunchtime news. What a hero, I was moved to tears by his bravery and am glad he seems to be getting the recognition he deserves. It is so nice to have a good news story for a change. Happy New Year to all! […]

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