Last updated: August 24. 2013 6:12PM -

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The crimes or tragedies they prevented are worlds apart, but the news of the last week reminds us of the importance of everyday people in keeping us all safe. The nation and world know of the New York street vendors whose alertness kept at least a fireball from exploding in Times Square. Here in Lima, two residents received recognition this week for keeping bad situations from getting worse.

Everyone knows the New York story: Street vendors noticed smoke coming from a parked vehicle. They alerted authorities, who kept a crude, homemade bomb from igniting.

Here at home, the Lima Noon Optimist Club on Wednesday gave Anthony Ross its Respect for Law Award for keeping two men from breaking into a neighbor’s house. The Lima Fire Department honored Molly Rush for her bravery in getting a woman and her daughters out of a burning home.

Ross was at home last summer when he saw two men trying to break down the back door of a neighboring house. He approached them, yelling at them, chasing them away but keeping an eye on them until a sheriff’s deputy arrived.

Rush was on her way to work April 20 when she saw a building on fire on St. Johns Avenue. Rather than driving by or simply dialing 911, Rush went in — and is responsible for a mother and her daughters coming out alive.

Some people run to authorities with every little concern, things they probably could handle on their own. There are other times, however, when going to the authorities is the right thing to do. In those cases, Ross and Rush show the importance of getting involved.

“People see a lot of crimes happen and they do nothing. It amazes me how many times we see something happen and no one steps up,” Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick said Wednesday presenting Ross the Optimist award.

Our thoughts exactly.

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