We need heroes

On March 11, Skate Hero, the musical that recalls the life and figure of Ignacio Echevarría, known as the 'skateboard hero', returned to the stage. An example of generosity and courage for today's youth. 

Javier Segura-March 21, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
skateboard hero

Last March 11, almost ten thousand people gathered at La Nueva Cubierta in Leganés to pay tribute to Ignacio Echeverríathe one known as the 'skateboard hero'. And along with him all the victims of terrorism, as Ignacio himself was one more of those victims of jihadist terror.

What was experienced on this day is worth a reflection that goes beyond the numbers. The almost seven thousand students, mostly Religion students, who packed the bullring in the morning and the more than three thousand who attended in the afternoon, were not only witnesses to a musical show, but participants in a special event.

First of all for something as important as honoring the victims of terrorism. The Association of Aid to the Victims of 1M organized this event together with the Teaching Delegation of the Diocese of Getafe. And together they wanted to make this painful date a real song of hope. From memory and remembrance, thanks to the young actors, the history of the victims of terrorism was kept fresh and current. This is especially important for the new generations. Not in vain none of the young people who crowded the square had been born when eighteen years ago the March 11 attack that shocked the whole of Spain took place.  

Paying tribute and giving warmth to the victims of terrorism is much more than remembering a historical event. It is to discover in these people who have managed to overcome pain and the desire for revenge the best of our society. In each of their stories of overcoming, we recognize that in truth the last word is not hate, but love.

And that is why it is so significant that the protagonist of the musical is a true hero, recognized as such by the whole of Spanish society. We have all been able to see in his action of risking his life to save a young woman who was being stabbed, something truly noble that deserves to be praised. No matter our age, ideology, or where we are from, Ignacio represents for all Spaniards the best of ourselves.

That is why this event was not only a tribute to a hero, but also a proposal to all young people. They too can be 'another Ignatius', even in their hearts sleeps a hero.

Ignacio is a hero. And the revolutionary educational proposal that could be read on a banner is to discover that we can all be true heroes. A heroism that begins in our daily lives, in our ordinary lives, in the values that sustain our daily tasks. Because Ignacio, as was sung in the musical 'Skate Hero', is 'one of us'. Proposing heroism to young people is an audacity that responds to the deepest aspirations of their being.

This is how pedagogue Catherine L'Ecuyer described it in a recent article:

The hero heir of classical education is aware that an ideal is something that is conquered little by little, every day, through the search for self-improvement. One is not a hero in great things, if one has not been a hero in small things before. The true hero flees from cowardice, he does not confuse difficult with utopian. He is aware that there are higher goods, that they are never subject to concessions and that the function of an ideal is to aim beyond the present possibilities.'

It is hard not to think of Ignacio Echeverría when reading this description of the hero.

We live in an education that does not propose heroism to young people. If, after all, the purpose of education is to find a job, there is not much room for heroism. Or if its purpose is a collective cultural and social change, as in LOMLOE, the component of personal commitment is diluted. That is why it was so important and revolutionary what we experienced last March 11 at the Cubierta de Leganés. Because there was a group of teachers who took the risk of telling their students that it is possible to love without limits, to love to the end, to love to the point of giving one's life. And that this change begins with oneself in ordinary life.

And there was something of that in the air around this event. Different people and groups were attracted by this example of nobility and put all their skills to make this event succeed. Influencers, parishes, teachers, foundations, families, young people... lived a true experience of synodality and walked together towards the roof of Leganés in the footsteps of this brave young Catholic lawyer.

The brilliant British writer J.R.R. Tolkien said that history is like a great failure with occasional glimpses of the final triumph. Ignatius shows us the great final triumph. And this March 11 we were able to have an occasional glimpse of what the human heart is made for.

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