23 Real-Life American Heroes You Should Know

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It generally feels like only bad news dominate the headline. But every so often stories of exceptional heroism capture our attention — stories about ordinary citizens who overcame extraordinary circumstances to save others. Though it is uplifting to hear of these acts of selflessness, such heroism often emerges only through great sacrifice during troubled times and dangerous situations.

The deluge of bad news so far this year seems endless — from mudslides and floods to fires and shootings. But with them also came stories of heroic actions.

Many were performed by members of the military and first responders who went above and beyond the call of duty. Heroic actions in 2018 have involved police officers confronting school shooters, members of the U.S. Coast Guard rescuing people in the ocean, as well as off duty first responders saving lives by using their emergency training.

Ordinary citizens have also performed some of the year’s most notable acts of heroism. James Shaw Jr. garnered acclaim when he wrestled a gun away from a shooter who opened fire in a Waffle House. Teachers, NASCAR drivers, car executives, and even Hollywood superstars are on our list of heroes in 2018. Their quick reactions in emergency situations helped save lives.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed media reports of some of the year’s exceptional acts of heroism to find 23 of the nation’s most notable heroes.

Though there is no shortage of uplifting and inspiring stories, it is likely that many heroic actions go unrecognized. Several Americans have reported that their lives were saved by people who either shied away from any commendation or simply left the scene of an emergency without being identified.

Click here to see 23 real-life American heroes you should know.