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Published:January 26th, 2009 14:48 EST
sully, sullenberger

Sully Given A Hero's Welcome In His Hometown

By Robert Paul Reyes

At one time the colors "red, white and blue" represented America, but now we are a nation of red and blue states. We are a polarized nation, seldom do Democrats and Republicans agree on anything.

An objective review of Sean Penn`s work would conclude that he`s a gifted director and a talented actor, but many conservatives can`t stand him because of his outspoken liberal views.

We may be a nation divided, but when US Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger (Sully) miraculously landed his plane in the frigid Hudson without loss of life or even serious injury to any of the passengers and flight crew he immediately became a national hero.

I can`t agree with my conservative friends on religion, politics or environmental policy, but we all agree that Sully is a national hero.

We idolize celebrity bimbos who flash their nether regions and sport stars with criminal records, it`s great to see a genuine hero being honored for a change.

This will probably be one of the few times when one of my essays doesn`t ellicit any negative emails.

Today the citizens of Sully`s hometown gathered downtown to salute their hero:

"Chanting `Sully! Sully!` a crowd of several thousand gathered in downtown Danville on Saturday to salute the hometown hero, US Airways pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger.

Sullenberger said only a few words, when, after a long line of speeches by Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and others, he was finally handed the microphone.

`It was circumstances that put this experienced crew (in charge) of that plane on that particular day,` Sullenberger, 58, said from a stage set up on the Town Green. `We were simply doing the jobs we were trained to do.`"

Jeanine Benca/San Jose Mercury News

Danville wanted to hold a parade in his honor, but Sully agreed to participate only if the parade was canceled and the celebration was muted.

True heroes seldom see their actions as heroic, they simply see themselves as "doing their job." The reality is that we are a nation of slackers, and too many politicians, athletes and celebrities don`t do their jobs very well. An individual who does his job very well when everything is on the line is a hero who deserves our respect and admiration.

Well done Sully! You are an American Hero!