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May 07. 2013 5:26PM

NH heroes: They are all around us

Craig Lutz was sitting on his deck drinking coffee Sunday morning when he saw 66-year-old Spencer Hadlock fall off of his fishing boat and spill into the cold water of Winona Lake. He tossed his cell phone to a friend to call 911, then canoed out to get Hadlock, who had stopped moving by the time he was reached. Lutz performed CPR until medics arrived, he told New England Cable News. Asked if he would do it again, he said, "Of course, yeah. No question."

Of course. That is the attitude we see so often when regular folks are confronted with life-or-death decisions. So many of them help, instantly. There is no doubt, no hesitation, no question.

On Saturday, Daniel Palmer saw a neighbor's house on Merrimack Street in Manchester spewing flames and smoke. He rushed into it. "We started opening doors as fast as we could," he told this newspaper. "My only thought was just get whoever is in there out."

Tom Sapienza was delivering mail on the street. He ran into the house, too. He was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. Then he got back into his mail truck and continued, as if nothing unusual had happened. "I have to get back on my route," he said.

Last Wednesday, Jose Palacios and Joshua Parker of Nashua and David Sampson of Billerica, Mass., were doing landscaping at a home on Manchester Ave. in Nashua when a car hit a tree and burst into flames. They pulled the driver out of the burning car, which was engulfed minutes later. "We didn't think about it at the time, but I feel fortunate we were there, it could have been a lot worse," Sampson told this newspaper.

There are so many stories like these, so many regular people who think nothing of risking their lives to save others. Starting today, the Union Leader is telling the stories of our new Hero Award winners. The stories will run through next Wednesday, when New Hampshire heroes of 2012 will be recognized at the State House. They are remarkable tales; if you want to be inspired, you should read them.


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