"Heroes All Around Us" was a public art display of various individual's portraits illustrated by Darren Inouye on plywood blocks. They were adhered to walls all over the streets of Los Angeles. On the back of each illustration was printed the story of the person's heroic deed, which ultimately resulted in some sort of self-sacrifice for another. Each of the pieces were free to take for whom ever found them in hope that the story and illustration would be a reminder that there are heroes all around us as each of the illustrations depict normal everyday people put in extra ordinary circumstance.
In February of 1941 Maximilian Kolbe was arrested by the Nazi Gestapo for sheltering and hiding Jews at his friary in Niepokalanow. In May of that same year he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp as prisoner #16670. Two months after he arrived at Auschwitz three fellow prisoners escaped the camp, this prompted the deputy camp commander to pick 10 men to be starved to death as an example to the others. When one of the chosen 10 began to cry out “My wife! My children!” Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to take his place. After two weeks of dehydration and starvation Maximilian was executed by a lethal injection of carbolic acid.
On Jan. 13th, 1982 Arland Williams, a bank examiner, was flying back from a business trip in Washington D.C.on flight 90. Shortly after take off Flight 90 failed to gain altitude, crashed into the 14th Street Bridge, and then plunged into the frozen Potomac River. Only six of the 79 occupants of Flight 90 survived the initial crash but then found themselves clinging to life on the quickly sinking debris into a frozen river. On lookers were powerless to help and there was only a small police helicopter at the seen able to throw life jackets down to the six survivors. Arland Williams (according to his high school girl friend) had a fear of water, yet as the life jackets were thrown down he passed them off to his fellow survivors. Finally when ropes were lowered from the helicopter Arland stayed in the water passing the rope to his fellow survivors insisting on their rescue first. When the five other survivors were rescued the
helicopter circled back to pick up Arland but he was no where to be found and the planes tail section which he was holding onto had disappeared into the frozen river. His body was later recovered with the other 73 dead in the Potomac River.
At the age of 25 Colonel Robert Shaw reluctantly assumed command of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. The 54th was one of the first African American regiments of the Civil War. As Shaw trained the 54th he grew to respect the men and even lead a boycott of all wages until his black soldiers received the same pay as white soldiers. The 54th departed for service just 26 days after Shaw married Annie Kneeland. Initially the 54th was assigned to manual labor details, but Shaw was determined to prove his men were legitimate soldiers. Finally they saw action at James Island in a skirmish with Confederate Troops. Two days later they were chosen to lead an assault on Battery Wagner. Shaw as killed proudly leading his men in the charge. General Strong asked “If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry it on?” Shaw simply answered, “I will.”
Steven Olson, know as “The Rock” to his fellowfirefighters, was married to Patricia Larson and was a father of two daughters, Jaclyn and Jessica. On the
morning of September 11th 2001, Steven was just starting his shift and had just come back from vacation when his station “Ladder Company 3” received the call about the World Trade Centers. He was on the phone with his wife at the time, and told her “I gotta run.” She told him she loved him and to be careful; His last words to her were “I love you.” Ladder Co. 3 suffered the Largest casualty count out of all the first responding fire departments, they Lost 11 men. There were a total of 411 emergency workers that lost their lives saving the lives of others that day in New York. That morning Steven Olson and his fellow brothers in Ladder Co. 3 ascended the North Tower to find and evacuate burned and injured victims. They died at 10:28 am when the North Tower collapsed. And we will never forget.