Thursday, 29 February 2024

"No One Dies Today." What That Promise Means to Us.

I’ve probably watched the movie, Sully, a dozen times; or at least pieces of it. Tom Hanks plays pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in the film about the heroic landing of U.S. Air Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, with 155 human lives on board.

Sully is a stirring story, not just because of quick thinking and selfless decisions by the Sully and his flight crew, but also because of all who came to the rescue on that bitterly cold January day in New York City. 

One scene captures me. As rescuers from a ferry boat pull a man off the plane’s life raft, he says, “I thought I was going to die out there!”

The rescuer, drawing the man into safety, says simply, “No one dies today.” I love it. If I could find that moment on YouTube I might watch it every day. As I sit in a plane writing this, I still get choked up.

Here’s what gets me. Everyone involved in Flight 1549’s miraculous moment on the Hudson stayed calm. Listening to the flight recording, Sully and co-pilot Jeff Skiles can be heard going through their checklists and making decisions, knowing the odds of surviving their landing on the Hudson were thin at best.

Yet, facing their own mortality, the crew members did their jobs. In addition, from ferry boat captains to the Coast Guard to trained first responders; men and women stepped up and without regard for themselves, sought to save others.

And they did. 

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Throughout the rescue effort, we hear Capt. Sullenberger asking about the 155 passengers. “What’s my count?” he would inquire, wanting to know how many of his passengers and crew are still alive.

My eyes tear up in the movie when, as Sully is being treated for possible hypothermia in a hospital emergency room, his key contact with the airline comes in. “We’ve got the count,” he tells Sully.

“What is it?” Sully asks, almost afraid of the answer.

“155,” the representative says.

“155?” Sully asks, incredulous. Did all 155 survive?


Every. Single. Passenger. And crew. Saved. All of them. It’s one of my favorite movie moments.

In pregnancy help ministry, part of our mission is as simple as that of the rescuer on the ferry boat, who said, “No one dies today.”

My point however, is not that this is all about babies. Yes, we play a role in saving lives.

But what about those moms and dads, and even those who have a negative test, who come in our doors? Many are broken, angry, desperate and lonely. Each of them could—if no one intervenes to rescue them—“slip through” the proverbial cracks of society … and disappear.

Like a passenger on Flight 1549, many of those we see are in peril of slipping away, into the water and out of reach.

Tweet This: No one dies today. That's our hope with every man, woman and child we serve. @KirkWalden #prolife

Emotionally, they are within a breath of giving up and giving in. 

On our watch however, just like those responders on the Hudson, we reach out and pull in those who are struggling and fearful. We give comfort and warmth, support and assistance. Most of all, we give hope.

At our ministries, we don’t want to miss the importance of our work with so many who are so close to dying on the inside. 

So, each day when we walk in the door, let’s remember these who will come to us in a battle to keep their hearts alive with hope. We might remind ourselves by whispering, “No one dies today.”  

Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at

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