Who hasn’t seen the dramatic footage? A plane lands on water. I mean a man walking on water is considered a miracle. To see a large plane with 150-plus passengers land on the Hudson River is beyond comprehension. And like clockwork, no sooner had Captain Chesley Sullenberger, with co-pilot Jeff Skiles, executed his brilliant landing and saving all lives on board in the process, than the media began handing out the superlatives: Miracle landing. Heroic pilot.
And don’t get me wrong this guy did something brilliant. He saved everyone on board with his quick thinking. But I can’t help but be more fascinated by Captain Sully’s actions after his brave behavior.
In this age of all- me-all-the-time television. An age when not only does sleeping with a celebrity but WANTING to sleep with one gets you ink, blog mentions and your own television show. In the age of I want the world to see me do absolutely nothing so I’ll do absolutely anything, Captain Sullenberger, or Sully as he’s known, kept his mouth shut.
He ignored repeated requests by media to interview him right after the crash. The hero of the day refused to talk. He even refused to speak with the Mayor of New York, a man so enamored of himself that he suspended all that democracy stands for in deference to his own hubris as a leader. A reporter called Captain Sully’s home in Danville, Calif., and someone promptly hung up.
No Captian Sully didn’t create T-shirts in his honor. Get banners made or buttons done up in red-white-and-blue. He didn’t ask the President to a luncheon and then talk about himself. A man, who by all measures does deserve his place in history by his deeds, kep this mouth shut until the investigators into the plane crash was finished with him. He didn’t, as so many do, believe his own press.
Maybe he did this because he was required to by his job. Maybe he did this because he didn’t want to say something irresponsible. But I’d like to think that Captain Sully is one of those rare individuals who speaks with deeds instead of words. And in this age where words are speaking a lot louder than actions – Captain Sully remains a true hero inDEED.