It was a windy March afternoon on the Columbus RiverWalk when Second Lt. James Lamoreaux saw two boys drowning.
“Honestly I don't remember much, other than the adrenaline rush,” said Lamoreaux. “I knew what was going on and I knew what had to happen.”
Officials say a 9-year-old child was testing the water's depths. When he fell in, his 15-year-old brother tried to save him. They both couldn't handle the strength of the current, and that's when Lamoreaux jumped into the river and pulled the children to shore.
“It was an act of heroism which deserves special recognition from the city of Columbus,” said Councilor Judy Thomas as she was delivering the proclamation honoring Lamoreaux at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The Columbus Fire Department also presented him the Community Valor Award, an honor that isn't given out very often.
“It's very rare that we give this award,” said Columbus Assistant Fire Chief Robert Futrell. “In this case, Second Lt. Lamoreaux was well deserving of it.”
Lamoreaux says he's honored to have received the award but more importantly -- it's a reminder of saved lives.
“I'm thankful that the boys were saved and that they’re able to enjoy the childhood that I was able to enjoy,” said Lamoreaux
“Without a doubt -- if he had not done what he did that the two boys would have probably drowned,” said Futrell.
Even so, Lamoreaux says the Columbus Fire Department's rescue team wasn't far behind him, arriving within three minutes of the boys falling in the water. Lamoreaux says they should be the ones getting all the attention, because they save lives every day.
Lameraux is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning. He says he credits the rescue to his military training, lifeguard skills and God for having him in the right place and right time. Lamoreaux says he has not been able to talk to the family of the children he saved. The city has not been able to get in contact with them.