Victoria Soto did not have to do what she did. She could have panicked and not have thought to hide her students in a closet. But Victoria Soto had the wherewithal to instinctively take action and get her students out of harm's way. She never thought twice.
A teacher's first thought is that of her students, but in a moment that few could imagine, it would be easy to freeze up and not know how to react. Victoria Soto made herself into a human shield. When gunman Adam Lanza came barreling into her classroom, she told him her students were at another end of the school. He shot and killed her, as she blocked her students from the flying bullets. This is a heroine, willing to die so that others can live.
A hero knows the value of life, the value of the lives around him or her. And a hero is not afraid to pay with his or her life to save another. But, a person's first instinct is more often than not to run from danger, to want to protect his or her own life. What would I do if I were in this situation? It is easy to think that I would do what she did, be a human shield. I do not know what I would do. I might take the easy way out and hide under a desk. Mentally, I can envision being a hero. But envisioning it and carrying it out are two completely different things.
Victoria Soto was first and foremost dedicated to her students. She no doubt had a wonderful life ahead of her had she lived. She was beautiful and loving. Looking at her, she is the kind of teacher a young child would remember. Now she will be remembered for having had the courage to stare death in the face and not flinch. She made the ultimate sacrifice so that her students could live. She is a heroine of epic proportions.
Life is fleeting. It is here today and gone tomorrow. No one wants to think about the prospect of being faced with death at work, at a school, where young children go to learn and hopefully, grow up to be productive adults. ictoria Soto will be remembered for her sacrifice. And the students she taught will never forget her. Right now she is safe in the arms of her Heavenly Father. A heroine in life, and a heroine in the face of death, her courage will never be forgotten.