Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, April 20, 2007

Kevin Granata: Virginia Tech Hero

The long minute-by-minute narrative of the Va. Tech murders in today's WaPo, which starts with the murder stepping expressionless past his roommate to get to the shower and ends where we all now know it ends, is more compelling by far than the killer's "manifester," to quote some talk radio guy yesterday.

In it are stories of those who cowered outside while terror unfolded inside, of those who could do no more than look into another student's eye as they both laid injured, waiting for death, and stories of heroism.

Here's all of one heroic story I hadn't heard before:
There was more carnage in the hallway. Kevin Granata had heard the commotion in his third-floor office and ran downstairs. He was a military veteran, very protective of his students. He was gunned down trying to confront the shooter.
In our fantasies, heroes fix things through their heroism. Kevin Granata didn't do that, but he died trying and that makes him a hero of the highest order, like the soldier who falls on the grenade to save his buddies.

Who knows what Granata accomplished? I'm a firm believer in the idea that God placed most of us here for a very small task. Perhaps we open the door for someone one day instead of barging through, and that little action starts a cascade that saves someone (temporally or eternally). I can see that Granata's action easily could have done that.

The killer spent time and bullets on Granata that he would have used to kill someone else. Granata hoped he could stop all the killing, but by his action he saved one or maybe a few, others.

They don't even know who they are, the ones Granata saved. His heroism will not be recognized by them; they will merely feel that they were lucky. But it wasn't luck that saved them; it was one man who refused to cower, who knew his responsibility and took it, and who went unafraid into glory.

God bless you, Kevin Granata, and watch over your lovely wife and two wonderful sons, who will forever have the honor -- and the misfortune -- of having a hero for a father.