Who would expect an escaped political prisoner would pose as a Spanish diplomat during WWII to save the lives of people in a country not his own? With the option to sneak away and pursue his personal safety, Giorgio Perlasca chose to remain in order to give hope and heroic aid to over five thousand Jews.
Few people highlight the trait of endurance better than Jovito Salonga. During some of the most tumultuous years in Filipino history, Jovito continued to be a voice and force for positive change. His lifetime of dreaming for his country and his determination to reach those goals have helped to shape the Philippines into a more just and democratic society.
With charm, wit and talent, Harry Belafonte has supported and encouraged civil and humanitarian causes around the world. He continuously fought for racial equality wherever he roamed, from the halls of Broadway to the streets of Birmingham. His life-long commitment to uplifting others and his courageous efforts to bring equality and peace has been an inspiration for many.
With strength, courage and resounding resolve, Maximilian Kolbe faced some of the harshest conditions of humanity. He proved compassion could thrive even in the darkest places and ultimately gave his life to save others from death. His heroic deeds inspired the prisoners of Auschwitz and gave them hope that human dignity and kindness could still exist, but his amazing story begins long before his time in the camps.
We remember the Holocaust for the evil shadow it casts on human history, but forget that even in the darkest of times incredible acts of goodness and compassion could be found. Actions like these remind us that it is in the darkest moments where the brightest heroes often shine. Like the steady stream that creates a canyon, Irena Sendler’s consistent courage, day in and day out, changed the fate of over 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust of WWII.
One of the greatest Americans from the 20th century to remain unknown to most. Despite efforts by governments to hide his voice from history, he continued his efforts for justice and has earned a position . Like José Rizal, he is a multi-talented man who left a positive mark on countries around the world.