Robert Decker – A Picture of Courage

Robert Decker, the lone survivor of a helicopter crash that killed 17 people off Newfoundland's east coast, arrives at the inquiry into the incident in St. John's, N.L. on Thursday Nov. 5, 2009.  

This is what courage looks like!  He is 28 years old and for many months carried the burden of being the sole survivor of a helicopter crash that killed 17 other people including friends and co-workers.  On November 5th,  not only family and friends of the victims, but the entire province was riveted to the television screen as Robert Decker spoke of the experience for the first time.

What I walked away from, was not the details of the crash, or how he survived.  It was the statement he read, honestly and openly telling people, he doesn’t know why he was the lone survivor.  Of course he doesn’t!  From what I can gather, when the helicopter hit the water, he was knocked out.  It’s probably a fair guess that others were knocked out as well.  He regained consciousness.  There was a window above him. 

Many people would like to call it luck, or fate!  I prefer it to call it a gift.  The man on the television yesterday was stoic and brave and every single Newfoundlander as well as every Canadian was proud to call this young man was of their own.  I am saddened for the loss of 17 lives and my heart goes out to their family and friends. 

But I am also hopeful!   Hopeful because this amazing man was given a gift, and I think he will take that gift and give it back many times over.  I believe we are going to see amazing things from this amazing man.


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