Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Heroes

Two different men, but both examples of great courage. I took these shots some weeks ago by Parliament Hill.


Terry Fox lost the better part of a leg to cancer, but didn't let that bring him down. He set out from the eastern edge of Newfoundland in 1980, dipping a foot into the Atlantic, running the equivalent of a marathon a day west along the Trans Canada, aiming to reach the West Coast to raise money for cancer research. Gradually more and more interest in this young man grew across the country, and his example inspired people. Crowds came out to cheer him on, to see him, to give money. He didn't reach his goal, illness overtaking him near Thunder Bay, Ontario, the cancer that had taken his leg returning, ending his Marathon of Hope. A few months later, he passed away. Yet in his wake, people followed his example to keep raising money for cancer research in his name. Each year, Terry Fox runs are held in Canada and across the world. Fox made a difference in life, and in death, his legacy proving so vital to countless lives, good work coming from his name. The man lives on as an example of courage. The statue stands just off Parliament Hill, but in a place where it's sure to draw passersby. A larger monument stands along the Trans Canada where his journey came to an end.


You can see this second statue across the street in the first photograph, before the entrance into Parliament Hill. The sculpture is done in the classic Galahad motif, commemorating a man whose courage is not nearly as known as Terry Fox, but is just as true. Henry Harper (no relation to the control freak currently in the Prime Minister's Office) was a journalist and friend of the future Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. In December 1901, he was among people in a skating party on the Ottawa River when a young woman fell through the ice. He went in after her, though both drowned. Reportedly, his last words were "what else can I do?" No hesitation; he gave his own life trying to save another. It's the very essence of a heroic act. This statue is the only one on the Parliamentary precinct that does not depict a politician or a monarch.


36 comments:

  1. What a super post today !

    cheers, parsnip

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  2. Fantastic stories and wonderful statues!

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  3. Ah yes, Terry Fox was a real hero! What an incredible man.

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  4. Great post! Fascinating tales - and humbling.

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  5. I love the story of Terry Fox. I had read about him some time ago. I didn't realize there was a statue commemorating his life. I think that's great!

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    1. The one up by Thunder Bay's bigger, and I'm sure there are other statues here of him in the country, particularly in his hometown.

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  6. I love stories about real heroes--and statues honoring them!

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    1. These do the job of honouring them quite well.

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  7. What an amazing story - makes me want to see the statue too. How wonderful to know of the legacy he left behind.

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    1. If one must leave a legacy, that's a tremendous one to have.

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  8. William You are the Storyteller. Nice Thank You.

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  9. Replies
    1. They are examples of humanity at its finest.

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  10. That is sad. I had heard about him but didn't know how the story ended. Brave man.

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    1. Terry is such an example of perseverance in the face of adversity.

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  11. Terry Fox was amazing, that's for sure. It's wonderful that he s still remembered.

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  12. I do so honor the memory of brave people such as these! I am also pleased that they are immortalized in art to remind us of what courage looks like.

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    1. These are people worth looking up to, especially in a day and age when we seem to pay too much attention to self absorbed shallow fools.

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  13. Two brave heroes indeed! I would like to learn more and will do some on line surfing. Thank you for sharing these courageous men William. They are very inspiring.

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