MattAndJojang's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Heroes

An Unsung Heroine

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There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena Sendler. During WW II, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ‘ulterior motive’. She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews, (being German.)

Irene smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2,500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped, got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

[A few years ago,] Irene was up for the Nobel Peace Prize but she was not selected.


Written by MattAndJojang

May 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Pushcart Educator Named CNN Hero Of The Year

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Efren Peñaflorida, who started a “pushcart classroom” in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership, has been named the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed Peñaflorida’s selection at the conclusion of the third-annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday night.

The gala event, taped before an audience of 3,000 at the Kodak Theatre, premieres on Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the global networks of CNN.

The broadcast, which honors the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009, features performances by Grammy Award-winning artist Carrie Underwood, R&B crooner Maxwell and British pop sensation Leona Lewis.

Peñaflorida, who will receive $100,000 to continue his work with the Dynamic Teen Company, was selected after seven weeks of online voting at More than 2.75 million votes were cast.

“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry,” Peñaflorida said upon accepting the honor. “Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.

“So to each and every person inside this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers … you are the change that you dream, as I am the change that I dream, and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.”

The top 10 CNN Heroes, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel from an initial pool of more than 9,000 viewer nominations, were each honored with a documentary tribute and introduced by a celebrity presenter. Each of the top 10 Heroes receives $25,000.

“With the recognition they receive on our stage,” said Cooper, who hosted the tribute, “they’ll be able to help thousands and thousands of people. Through their efforts, lives will be changed and lives will be saved.”

Underwood performed an original orchestral arrangement of “Change” from her best-selling album, “Play On.”

Maxwell sang “Help Somebody” from his first album in eight years, ‘BLACKsummers’night.’

Lewis, a three-time Grammy nominee, performed “Happy,” from her second album, “Echo.”

All three performances echoed the spirit of the CNN Heroes campaign, which salutes everyday people whose extraordinary accomplishments are making a difference in their communities and beyond.

Presenters included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Randy Jackson, Greg Kinnear, George Lopez and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

“This record number of nominations is further evidence of the momentum CNN Heroes has built in just a few short years,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide.

“Viewers have been engaged by these stories of inspiration and accomplishment beyond our expectations. It is truly an honor to be able to introduce the CNN Heroes to our global audience every year.”

Again this year, producer/director Joel Gallen served as executive producer of “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.” Among his credits, Gallen produced telethon events supporting victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, winning an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for “America: A Tribute to Heroes.”

The Kodak Theatre is best known as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.


Written by MattAndJojang

November 25, 2009 at 10:16 am

An Excerpt from the Letter of Ninoy Aquino from Prison

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Today is the death anniversary of Ninoy Aquino. To honor him, we posted an excerpt of his letter written to Sen. Soc Rodrigo from his prison cell in Fort Bonifacio last June 19, 1973.

The mysteries started me on my meditation. It was the life of Christ from birth to ascension. Suddenly, Jesus became a live human being. His life was to become my inspiration. Here was a God-Man who preached nothing but love and was rewarded with death. Here was a God-Man who had power over all creation but took the mockery of a crown of thorns with humility and patience. And for all his noble intentions, he was shamed, vilified, slandered and betrayed.

Then it dawned on me how puny were my sufferings compared to Him whose only purpose was to save mankind from eternal damnation.

Then as if I heard a voice tell me: Why do you cry? I have gifted you with consolations, honors and glory which have been denied to the millions of your countrymen. I made you the youngest war correspondent, presidential assistant, mayor, vice-governor, governor, and Senator of the Republic, and I recall you never thanked me for all these gifts. I have given you a full life, a great wife and beautiful lovable children. Now that I visit you with a slight desolation, you cry and whimper like a spoiled brat!

With this realization, I went down on my knees and begged His forgiveness. I know I was merely undergoing a test, maybe in preparation for another mission. I know everything that happens in this world is with His knowledge and consent. I knew He would not burden me with a load I could not carry. I therefore resigned myself to His will.

To think, I have been praying the Lord’s Prayer for three and a half decades without really understanding fully the words I mumbled. I repeated the prayer so mechanically that I never really knew what I was saying: Thy Will be done, on earth!

Thy Will Be Done! These words snatched me from the jaws of death. In Laur, I gave up my life and offered it to Him… picked up my cross and followed Him.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Ninoy Aquino was a former Filipino politician who strongly opposed the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. When Marcos declared Martial Law he was imprisoned for many years. He was later permitted to leave for the US for medical reasons. On August 21, 1983, upon his return to the Philippines from the US, he was gunned down in cold blood at the Manila International Airport (now Ninoy Aquino International Airport). His death triggered massive protests which led to the People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos regime. He is considered by many as a hero, and remembered for his famous quote: “The Filipino is worth dying for.”

Written by MattAndJojang

August 21, 2008 at 8:36 am