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Bureau County is full of heroes

While there will always be bad in the world, recent events in the county demonstrate what can happen when everyone steps up for the greater good

After the Las Vegas shootings, many of us struggled to come to terms with how out-of-control this world seems. It feels like almost every day there is some new horror that we have to deal with.

It can be easy to concentrate on the negativity and what’s wrong with this world. After all, these events grab the headlines and are rehashed for weeks in the press and on television news stations.

But if you look hard enough, you can always find good people doing extraordinary things. These heroes give us reason for hope. In recent weeks in Bureau County, we’ve seen a long list of heroic acts worth celebrating.

• Sarah Peterson, a teacher at DePue school, saved a child who was choking on a piece of candy. Peterson had taken Basic Life Support (BLS) courses for many years and had just recently completed the BLS Instructor Course at Perry Memorial Hospital.

By the way, those who are interested in taking a BLS Course, should call 815-876-4449 or visit the hospital’s website at to see when classes are being offered. We can always use more heroes in our county.

• Three Princeton Police officers Sgt. Dan Jaeger, K9 officer Erik Sorenson and Patrol Officer Tyler Wolf were honored recently for saving a person from an attempted suicide. They received the Life Saving Award of the National Awards Program of the American Police Hall of Fame.

• Two local women, Kelly Sissel-Morris and Lauren Eckberg, helped bicycle riders who were facing emergency situations during the July 15 Z Tour Bike Ride.

• The whole county has rallied behind 6-year-old Caleb Clausen of Walnut, who suffered life-threatening injuries last month after the electric bike he was riding on went into the roadway and traveled under the tandem of an empty tank trailer. The financial and emotional support that has been shown to Caleb and his family is another form of heroism.

• The LaMoille School District recently enlisted the help of its residents and people throughout the Illinois Valley area when it started a fundraiser for LaMoille fifth-grade teacher Mary Boehm, who is on a leave of absence as she recovers from her cancer treatments. That effort raised more than $30,000 for Boehm and proved once again how this area rallies to support its residents.

Heroism will continue to be important both nationally and locally because there is always a new tragedy right around the corner. The following quote from television personality Mr. Rogers, which appeared in a book he wrote in 1983, seems to enjoy viral status whenever the newest tragedy hits. And it’s as powerful now as it was then.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers

It is our hope that in times of tragedy, we can all rest a little easier knowing that we live in Bureau County where we have an abundance of helpers.

— Bureau County Republican

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