My assignment today at the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade was to follow the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, float. While trying to find the float I started walking with the Elghazalif family. They are Muslim and we talked as we walked. They were very kind as we tried to find the float together. A few hateful comments were yelled after they passed some groups. I don’t think they heard them, or they have gotten good at ignoring those kind of comments.
I saw Sgt.Joseph Goodwin of the Oklahoma National Guard approach the family. I wondered what he was going to say. He very kindly told the family that he wanted to apologize if they hear anything hateful or have heard anything hateful in the week leading up to the parade.
I see a lot of heroes every time I cover the parade. Today, Goodwin is my “hero of the day.” Obviously he is a soldier and I respect him for that, but the bravery and kindness he showed by walking up to this family was incredible. They appreciated it. He didn’t want his photo taken. He didn’t want to give me his name. Most heroes don’t, but when someone restores my faith in humanity, I’m photographing it and writing about it. Thanks Sgt. Goodwin!