Denver, CO–Wonderful to see this boy’s heroism, and also nice to see the bond he has with his dad. From 11-year-old honored as hero for rescuing boy from drowning (Rocky Mountain News, 10/27/08):
Roman Ross learned something new in class Monday. “Now I know how people feel when they save other people’s lives,” said the beaming 11-year-old. On Monday, Roman received kudos from the Denver Police Department and the Bill Daniels Neighborhood Hero Award for saving a boy from drowning on a steamy day in July.
Roman, with his dad, Herston, at his side, got the full star treatment when his sixth-grade class at Hill Middle School was invaded by media, top brass of the Daniels Fund and even Police Chief Gerald Whitman, whose uniform drew some class speculation that he must be “the police dude.” There was no doubt who Roman was – he was the hero of July 21, 2008, when he jumped into the pool at his apartment complex to save a 12-year-old boy who couldn’t swim. “I pulled up his face and his eyes were closed,” Roman told the crowd. He dragged the boy to safety. Later, Roman said he never thought about being in danger himself. “My first thought was about him,” he explained. “The energy was rushing through.” Roman is so self-effacing that until grown-ups told the story later, no one in his class, or at his summer camp, ever knew he had saved a life. “We’re here to brag for him,” Whitman said, adding that he’d be proud to have Roman on the police force someday. Then, Whitman read from the commendation letter: “Roman Ross displayed extraordinary bravery in the face of danger . . . (For your) bravery, courage and quick response, I am proud to meet you and give this plaque.” “Thank you, sir!” Roman replied. The Daniels award was presented to Roman in the name of another hero – the late philanthropist Bill Daniels, a decorated World War II naval aviator, said Linda Childears, the president and CEO of the Daniels Fund. Then, Roman’s jaw literally dropped when Childears presented him with a $250 check. At times it was hard to tell who was more moved by the ceremony, Roman or his dad, who said his son had fulfilled a dream of his own. “I spent six years in the Marine Corps kind of wanting to save somebody’s life and wondering how that would feel – what would you do?” the elder Ross said. “In the Marine Corps you never leave a man behind. Now that Roman has done that for me, I am very overwhelmed and I am very proud of him.” Roman said he would use the money to buy a few video games, but he also wanted to help out his dad, a plumber. As the event wound down, Roman took control, just like he did in the pool that July day. “Any more questions from the media?” he asked.