6 Tales of Courage

Catastrophes create heroes, people who know how to deal with trouble. They come in all shapes and sizes to take the lead: a medical worker, a lottery winner, a neighbor, bystanders, a priest, a child

DE'MONTE WILLIAMS
NEW ORLEANS

The Kid in Charge

Valor often requires little more than the common sense of a 6-year-old. Three days after Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Catrina Williams, the mother of first-grader De'Monte, decided she had to get her family out of their flooded Uptown neighborhood. But when a small rescue helicopter finally touched down at their apartment complex, the pilot said he could take only a handful of children; he would come right back for the parents. Reluctant but seeing the floodwaters about to swallow their home, Williams tearfully put De'Monte, 6, and his 5-month-old brother Da'Roneal (on...

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