While most interns spend their time filling Starbucks orders and finding ways to screw up making photocopies, Daniel Hernandez was busy applying pressure to the entry wound on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' forehead to keep her alive.
Hernandez, who had only been Giffords' intern for five days before Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson, was lauded as a hero by President Barack Obama in Thursday night's address at a memorial service for victims of the shooting.
"Daniel, I'm sorry, but we've decided you are a hero," Obama said. "You ran through the chaos to minister to your boss and tended to her wounds and helped keep her alive."
Although Hernandez, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Arizona, humbly rejected his title of "hero" from the president, it's not entirely likely that he's going to escape the designation.
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But Hernandez is a hero -- as a representative of the Hispanic and gay communities, he's a hero. To college students and interns, he's a hero. To the entire country, indeed, Daniel Hernandez is a hero.
It's a fact that's sure to make the loons at the Westboro Baptist "Church" cringe, and incite rage in the brigades wanting to deport all brown people, but this gay Hispanic intern embodies a spirit of true American heroism. and most people in this country accept him as a hero, even if he refuses to himself.
At 20, Hernandez still has five years until he'd be able to serve as a U.S. Representative, but his odds of embarking on a successful political career have skyrocketed since he joined the ranks of several other political figures in the life-saving arena.
It's refreshing to see an act of courage and nobility steal some of the spotlight in the aftermath of a shooting that has created so much despair across the country. Daniel, this is why you're awesome.