Celebrities were featured in this tribute and with charm and talent intact bared a sense of pride and pleasure just for their involvement in this celebration, albeit no less affected by the stories they unveiled to the audience. Presenters included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Greg Kinnear, Randy Jackson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, > Eva Mendes, George Lopez, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. There were also performances by Carrie Underwood, R&B Crooner Maxwell, and British pop-star Leona Lewis.
The 2009 Top 10 CNN Heroes are quite extraordinary, tending to a wide range of needs for children, from helping the disabled and getting them off the streets, to providing them with food, shelter and education, and providing a safe haven for young victims of sexual abuse.
Wine to Water provides clean water to communities worldwide, while a breast cancer survivor in Florida has taken it upon herself to bring early detection to the doorsteps of uninsured women. A veteran in Florida searches for homeless veterans and those who are struggling with addiction, so he can take them in and change their lives. A bus driver, after a long day's work, goes out and distributes meals to the hungry in Queens, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
I'm sure it was quite difficult to choose a winner from these top ten, because they are all winners - heroes. I must admit that I was too late to vote but if I had, I would have chosen Roy Foster. The inner joy expressed on Foster's face as he takes in a homeless veteran brought tears to my eyes and hope in my heart. But they all deserve our vote of gratitude as they exemplify how compassion should be revealed, not just in thoughts and words, but in actions. This is the best of humanity: something we can all be thankful for this Thanksgiving and every day.
"Then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on, and you cast your fears aside, and you know you will survive."
- Mariah Carey