We were thankful and joyous on Sunday to learn of the successful rescue of Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, a commercial ship bringing much-needed food and supplies to Africa. Capt. Phillips acted heroically when his ship was attacked by Somali pirates five days ago, surrendering himself as a hostage while protecting the crew from a similar fate. President Obama noted that Captain Phillips’ demonstration of courage was “a model for all Americans.” We certainly do join in admiring his unique combination of integrity, professional training and bravery.
Back on the USS Bainbridge, with Commander Frank Castellano, Capt. Phillips was quick to give credit to his rescuers, U.S. Navy Seals, saying, “I’m just the byline. The real heroes are the Navy, the Seals, those who have brought me home.” The admirable behavior of many throughout this ordeal made the daring rescue possible: Capt. Phillips himself, the Navy Seals, Cmdr. Castellano, the officers and crew of the Alabama, the other U.S. Navy personnel and ships coming to aid in the rescue efforts. We wonder, what gives someone the strength to act as selflessly as Capt. Phillips did? His merchant marine training and position as a leader certainly played a large role, yet his actions also seem to reflect a deep personal commitment to his fellow man. We salute you, Captain Phillips, and welcome you home.
Earlier this year, we were awed by another hero, Captain Sullenberger, who landed his severely damaged plane in the Hudson with no loss of life. Click on the title above to take you to www.HerMentorCenter.com and our article, Captain Sullenberger: Heroes and Lessons Learned, to help you develop tools you can use when facing your own difficult situations. And visit us here all week as we look at how to incorporate Capt. Phillips’ heroism and his rescuers’ successful techniques into your own lives.