As seen on "Fox & Friends" December 24, 2010
Sometimes the mainstream media likes to harp on the worst of our culture so I thought in this season let’s talk about some of the best Americans I know. They come from different places but share one belief -- Christian and Jew alike -- that giving is better than receiving, that serving is more rewarding than being served.
We met the McDonald family last summer. Detective Steven McDonald, a Navy veteran and a third generation cop was rendered a quadriplegic by a teenager's bullet 24 years ago. He publicly forgave the boy and then counseled him while in prison becoming a model for the concept of redemption.
His loyal wife, Patti Ann, then pregnant with their boy Conor, helped nurse Steven back to a successful career.
Today she is the mayor of Malverne ,New York.
Their son Conor, who graduated from Boston College and then counseled youth in a tough section of Denver decided to forego the security of a law or or business career and took another test instead. Inspired by a family of service and sacrifice he decided to become a New York City police officer.
And last week he received a historic badge to mark the beginning of his police career.
Whose badge you ask? The same badge worn by Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who was a Marine and has served as New York City police commissioner for 10 years.
Ray Kelly works 24/7 keeping the Big Apple safe and his police department is credited with halting terrorist plots against the Brooklyn Bridge and Kennedy Airport and helping capture the who-be Times Square bomber.
Commissioner Kelly has the common sense of the street cop he once was and the book sense of the lawyer he now is.
He’s quiet, he’s tough and he’s proud to be an American who hasn’t forgotten his humble roots as a Macy’s stock boy.
And speaking of family traditions, his son Greg followed in his father’s steps as a Marine pilot and now is one of the big news stars on Fox 5 in New York and was wounded while embedded with an infantry division in the Iraq invasion.
Rabbi Michael Miller served as a United States Army chaplain like his father the late Rabbi Israel Miller.
Now he heads up the Jewish Community Relations Council, a dynamic organization that builds bridges of understanding between all races and religions and has worked tirelessly to ensure the viability of the state of Israel.
As a certified Red Cross Chaplain he responded to the area of Ground Zero and counseled families in the wake of the crash of American Airlines flight 587.
Mayors come and go in New York City but they know that when they need a trusted mediator to bring people together Rabbi Miller is the one to call.
And finally, you know her from the Fox News Channel: contributor Ellen Ratner.
After Hurricane Katrina, Ellen went to Mississippi with Cholene Espinoza and their family members and built a community center there.
Now, Ellen has just returned from Southern Sudan as a volunteer with Christian Solidarity International. There she lived and worked in a community of polio victims who make religious crosses from mahogany and sell them so they can build their own hand propelled tricycles.
Sudan is the war torn site of the second largest genocide in history. And Ellen plans to go back. -- An American hero in the service of this nation and the world we live in.
On a hopeful Christmas Eve I couldn’t resist telling you about these people who symbolize the hope and strength of America. You know them too. I think we should talk about them more.
So please tell me about the heroes in the service of America you know. Write us here at Fox News Channel or leave a comment below and together we can spread the good news about the very best proof of our exceptional American tomorrow -- seen in the lives of the people who live just around the corner from you.
Peter Johnson Jr. is a lawyer and Fox News legal analyst.
Peter Johnson Jr. is a successful appellate and trial lawyer. He has been an outspoken and eloquent analyst for the FOX News Channel on law, public policy, media and culture for the last 15 years.