Durbin Honors 'Guardian Angel' Ashley Aldridge of Auburn, Illinois on Senate Floor
[WASHINGTON, DC]. – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to commend Ashley Aldridge, a mother of two from Auburn, Illinois, for her bravery and courage. Last week, Ashley risked her life to save Earl Moorman, a fellow resident of Auburn whose wheelchair became stuck in the path of an oncoming train. Her story was first written about in the Springfield Journal-Register.
“Auburn’s Mayor and Town Council and all the folks around town were hailing Ashley Aldridge as a hero. She is that and more,” Durbin said. “In a world in which we often hear the message we should only be concerned about ourselves and our own families, Ashley is an inspiration. Without a moment's hesitation, this brave young mom risked her own life to save the life of a man she had never met. It's an amazing story of selfless courage. In this world filled with so many innocent people and danger, I hope we will all remember and be inspired by the courage of this remarkable young woman.”
Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor is available here.
Durbin’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available below:
Senator Richard J. Durbin
In Praise of Ashley Aldridge, Hero and “Guardian Angel”
September 22, 2016
Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the selfless courage of a young Illinois mother whom many are calling – with good reason – a guardian angel.
Ashley Aldridge was making lunch for her two little babies on Tuesday when she heard someone crying out in distress. She looked out her kitchen window and saw an elderly man in a wheelchair on the railroad tracks near her mobile home. He was calling for help.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Ashley asked a neighbor to stay with her children and bolted toward the tracks. She saw the railroad guard arms come down and heard the whistle of an oncoming train.
When she reached the man in the wheelchair, Earl Moorman, she discovered that the wheel of his chair was caught in the tracks.
There was no budging the wheelchair, so Ashley tried to pick Mr. Moorman up out of his chair.
Now, Earl Moorman is 75 years old and weighs about 200 pounds.
She couldn’t move him.
She tried again.
With an Amtrak train traveling 81 miles an hour bearing down on them, Ashley Aldridge somehow, somewhere, found the strength and the courage to lift Earl Moorman up and out of his trapped wheelchair.
Not five seconds later, the Amtrak train hit the wheelchair and smashed it to bits.
When the last car on the Amtrak coach passed, Ashley looked up and saw a police car on the other side of the tracks. Someone had apparently called 9-1-1.
And although the police arrived quickly, they did not get there fast enough to save Earl Moorman.
Ashley Aldridge, a 19-year-old wife and stay-at-home mom of two little children, did that.
No wonder Earl Moorman is calling her his “guardian angel.”
Ashley Aldridge and Earl Moorman both live in Auburn, Illinois, a small town about 20 miles from my hometown of Springfield.
Auburn’s mayor and town council – and folks far beyond Auburn – are hailing Ashley Aldridge as a hero.
She is that – and more. In a world in which we often hear the message that we should only be concerned about ourselves and our own families, Ashley Aldridge is an inspiration. Without a moment’s hesitation, this brave young mother risked her own life to save the life of a man she had never met.
I am awed by her selfless courage.
In this world that is filled with so many innocent people in peril, I hope we will all remember and be inspired by the courage of this remarkable young woman.
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