EVERYDAY HEROES: ON A TRAIN BOUND FOR PARIS
September 1, 2015
Everyday Heroes: ON A TRAIN BOUND FOR PARIS
Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Damien A., Mark Moogalian, Chris Norman
The story below was published by the New York Daily News on August 24, 2015. It tells the tale of heroes who possibly saved the lives of many people on a Paris-bound Thalys train packed with 554 passengers. If you consider the number of AK-47 rounds in the possession of a Moroccan by the name of Ayoub El-Khazzani and the people he could have killed and injured, the deeds of the men named above are truly worthy of the highest praise.
Frenchman Damien A. (he didn’t disclose his last name) and French-American Mark Moogalian went into action when they saw El-Khazzani emerge from a train bathroom with a weapon. When the terrorist fired his weapon, the Americans Skarlatos, Stone, and Sadler swept forward and subdued El-Khazzani.
I won’t rehash the story here. It’s provided below and is worth reading. What I will say is that these five unarmed men made individual decisions to take down a monster who could have killed every one of them, and a whole lot more people. They put their lives on the line to try to prevent mass murder, and they did so without calculating the odds against success. They acted to subdue evil. In this instance, good triumphed over that evil.
Messrs. Stone, Skarlatos, Sadler, Damien A., Moogalian, and Norman could have done nothing. As a result, they could have become victims, along with many others. These gentlemen are the epitome of Everyday Heroes. They made a huge difference on that train on August 21, 2015, and set an example for every one of us. Every man, woman, and child on thank train should thank God these men were their fellow travelers.
“3 Americans and Brit honored in France as 5th train hero is identified as French-American professor”
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, August 24, 2015, 11:13 PM
Three childhood American friends and a Brit who disarmed a terrorist gunman aboard a speeding train were awarded France’s highest award Monday for thwarting the frightening attack.
Americans Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler joined British traveler Chris Norman in a gutsy takedown that resembled a scene from a Jason Bourne movie.
The foursome pounced on and subdued a gunman Friday aboard a packed train headed to Paris, derailing a potential massacre by disarming the determined gunman.
"By their courage, they saved lives," said President François Hollande. "They gave us an example of what is possible to do in these kinds of situations. Three Americans and one Englishman. You risked your lives to defend an ideal, the ideal of liberty and freedom.”
Gunman and suspected terrorist Ayoub el-Khazzani, stormed the Amsterdam-to-Paris train with a slew of weapons when he was spotted by a French-American professor, Mark Moogalian, who became suspicious after el-Khazzani lingered in a train bathroom.
When el-Khazzani came out of the bathroom, he was carrying a weapon. Another train passenger tried to tackle the gunman while Moogalian snatched away the AK-47, his wife said.
But the gunman shot Moogalian in the neck with a second weapon.
When the gunman recovered the rifle, four other passengers sprang into action. Stone, an off-duty U.S. Air Force member, said he put el-Khazzani in a chokehold while his buddies Sadler and Skarlatos punched and beat the struggling shooter, along with Norman, the British passenger.
As the four fought to restrain the attacker, el-Khazzani pulled out a box cutter and sliced Stone’s thumb.
“It seemed like he kept pulling more weapons left and right,” Stone said Monday.
When the group finally had el-Khazzani subdued, Stone ran to help the wounded professor.
“He put his finger on the wound in the middle of his neck and he stayed in that position for the whole journey,” said Moogalian’s wife, Isabelle. “I think he really saved my husband’s life.”
Hollande plans to hold a separate ceremony to recognize Moogalian when he recovers, officials said.
"He never said a word," said Sadler, a student at California State University in Sacramento. "At that time, it was either do something or die."
Joseph H. Badal