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March 4, 2009 | Joel Rubin
Sixteen Los Angeles police officers have been chosen to receive the department's Medal of Valor for bravery in the line of duty. The civilian board that oversees the LAPD voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the department's selection of the officers, who were cited by officials for "displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril." The medal is the department's highest honor. Ten of the officers were involved in a chaotic 2005 shootout in South L.A. between the LAPD's elite SWAT unit and a deranged man who opened fire on police while holding his toddler daughter.
January 16, 2009 | Matea Gold and Jennifer Oldham and Peter Pae
It was just a few minutes after takeoff. The voice that came over the intercom was urgent but calm. "Brace for impact," Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, 57, told the 150 passengers of US Airways Flight 1549.
December 1, 2008 | Ari B. Bloomekatz, Bloomekatz is a Times staff writer.
Gilberto Bosques Saldivar has never been the subject of a major motion picture by Steven Spielberg. American history books seldom, if ever, mention his name, and he does not have his own Wikipedia page, in Spanish or English. But the former Mexican diplomat, stationed in France during World War II, helped save as many as 40,000 Jews and other refugees from Nazi persecution.
November 5, 2008 | Dennis McLellan, McLellan is a Times staff writer.
Retired Marine Corps Col. John W. Ripley, a Vietnam war hero who was awarded the Navy Cross for risking his life to blow up a strategic Highway 1 bridge that halted the advance of North Vietnamese troops and tanks during the 1972 Easter Offensive, has died. He was 69. Ripley was found dead Saturday at his home in Annapolis, Md., said his son, Stephen Ripley, who believes that his father died in his sleep four nights earlier.
October 30, 2008 | Tony Perry
The Navy will name its latest Zumwalt-class destroyer for a SEAL from Orange County who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the secretary of the Navy announced Wednesday. Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, 25, was killed during a firefight in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 when he smothered an insurgent's grenade to save three fellow SEALs. "Those who served with Michael Monsoor will remember him always as a consummate professional who faced terrorist enemies with aplomb and stoicism," Navy Secretary Donald Winter said in announcing the decision during a speech in New York.
October 19, 2008 | Matt Welch, Matt Welch is editor in chief of Reason magazine and author of "McCain: The Myth of a Maverick."
Write a critical book about John McCain, and you will soon become a repository of many colorful rumors. These come in three general flavors: 1) Did you hear about his terrible temper? (The subject did come up, yes.) 2) Did you know he likes the ladies? (Fred Thompson invoked "Marie, the Flame of Florida" at the Republican National Convention, so, yes.) And, most popularly, 3) He wasn't really a hero in Vietnam at all; also, I think they did something funny to his brain there.
September 14, 2008 | Robert J. Lopez, Garrett Therolf and Scott Gold, Times Staff Writers
There was spaghetti on the stove at Fire Station 96 when the loudspeaker crackled. Right before dinner. Typical. "Possible physical rescue," the dispatcher said. In firefighter-speak, it was a run-of-the-mill call that gets the emergency response rolling but usually translates into little more than a car wreck. The voice was cold, detached -- numb from the job, perhaps, but also trained to keep emotion at bay. Los Angeles Fire Capt. Alan Barrios, a brawny, soft-spoken man and a father of three who has been in the business for 32 of his 54 years, climbed aboard his rig with two firefighters and an engineer, his entire engine company.
September 10, 2008 | Jill Zuckman, Chicago Tribune
Military service is perhaps the most powerful theme of John McCain's presidential campaign: Veterans sporting their caps and pins fill the audiences, running mate Sarah Palin cites McCain's prisoner-of-war years in introducing him, and during the recent Republican convention, men draped in medals and ribbons graced the stage while larger-than-life photos of McCain in uniform served as a backdrop. But in presidential politics, military service -- even heroism -- is no guarantee of victory.
July 31, 2008 | Eric Bailey, Times Staff Writers
Folks in this wide spot on the road to Yosemite National Park don't shy from saying they're a town with a foot in the 19th century. So when flames began roaring through the Mariposa County backcountry, they responded with pioneer gumption. One family penned its beloved donkey in a mine shaft so he could escape the Telegraph fire. Neighbors helped save a rancher's prized Arabians by arriving with a cavalry charge of horse trailers.
April 9, 2008 | James Hohmann, Times Staff Writer
Tears glistening on his face, President Bush posthumously presented the Medal of Honor on Tuesday to a Navy SEAL from Garden Grove who saved the lives of American snipers in Iraq by throwing his body on top of an insurgent's grenade. Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, 25, died during a firefight on Sept. 29, 2006, in an Al Qaeda-controlled section of Ramadi.
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