July 20, 2021; Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Jason Crow, representing Colorado’s sixth and seventh districts, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate July 20 as “National Heroes Day” to honor the sacrifices of everyday heroes.
July 20, 2012, is the date of the horrific shooting in Aurora, Colo. at a movie theater that left 12 dead, 70 wounded, and hundreds more with emotional trauma. The tragedy brought to light incredible heroism by the first responders and medical teams whose tireless efforts saved lives, those who carried the wounded to safety, and those who sacrificed themselves to save others – specifically Jonathan Blunk, 26; John Larimer, 27; Matt McQuinn, 27; and Alex Teves, 24, whose lives were taken while shielding others during the shooting.
The resolution was first introduced last year and sought to also recognize the everyday heroes who came to the aid of others during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as medical professionals, law enforcement, emergency responders and the National Guard, frontline workers and essential personnel, food and grocery workers, teachers, journalists, small business and community leaders, and thousands of individuals whose family and friends died of COVID. As we emerge from the pandemic, this year’s resolution also recognizes those who developed and administer the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
The goal of the resolution is to designate every July 20 as National Heroes Day to serve as a reminder for all of us to exhibit the same spirit of courage and service shown by everyday heroes by performing good deeds and engaging in community service or other charitable activities.
“Our country has seen some dark days, including July 20, 2012, and we have all experienced emotional, physical, and mental challenges this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these tough times, it is the everyday heroes who demonstrate courage, initiative, and bravery and who take action to assist others and their community in a time of need,” said Perlmutter. “Let’s follow these shining examples and all the everyday heroes as we each work to be a positive force in our community and bring kindness and selflessness to everyday life.”
“Nine years ago, our community was devastated by a horrific act of gun violence. We’ve experienced even more tragedies in the years since, and every time it happens, it is just as painful,” said Crow. “Our ability to recover and come together has only been possible because of the heroes among us whose courage and bravery have shown us a path forward in times of crisis. In recognition of those in our community and around the country, we mark July 20th as a day to honor the heroism and servant leadership of our fellow citizens.”
“The Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to support the National Heroes Day initiative and its efforts to shine a light on everyday heroes all around us,” said Hero Fund President Eric Zahren. “Those who, in Carnegie’s words, would ‘save, or greatly serve’ their fellow human beings are indeed the ‘true heroes of civilization.’ It was to honor and support those who would risk their lives for others that the fund was brought to life over 100 years ago. A national day of honoring the selflessness of our society’s everyday heroes is long overdue.”
“Jonathan, a Navy man who served three tours in the Middle East, died saving another while watching a movie. This was a guy who was the biggest Broncos fan you could be. He would be pleased to know that his sacrifice has opened the door to honor other, everyday heroes in this country, like those on the frontlines of COVID-19,” said Blunk’s cousin, Jessica Watts.
“It has been said that in death your true character shows. In death, my son, Matt McQuinn’s, character showed through as a hero. We are honored that his last act would inspire a day to shine a light on heroes,” said Jerri Jackson, mother of Matt McQuinn.
“Let July 20th be a day where our nation comes together to honor our heroes, whose actions are motivated purely by love and compassion, like our son Alex and so many others. We celebrate those who are a guiding light reflecting the greater good in all we strive to be,” said Caren Teves, mother of Alex Teves.
Reps. Perlmutter and Crow would also like to thank Anita Busch, cousin of Micayla Medek whose life was taken in the Aurora theater shooting, for her tireless work on behalf of the victims of mass tragedies and in advocating for a National Heroes Day. Other original cosponsors of the resolution include Reps. Diana DeGette (CO-01), Joe Neguse (CO-02) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). The resolution has also been endorsed by the Carnegie Hero Fund.
On July 20, Americans are encouraged to highlight their heroes with the hashtags #NationalHeroesDay and #WhosYourHero.