Transcript for Remembering a Hero: Community Celebrates Brave Bus Driver
thank you for all of those tweets during "20/20" last night. So many of you relieved to see ethan smile. That little boy rescued from the bunker. Tonight, I wanted to tell you about the one man that everyone is talking about. It's hardly the bad guy. This guy was the hero. Midland city, alabama. A town that relies on prayer, and on that january afternoon, a town that would also rely on a school bus driver, a quiet man named chuck poland, who called the schoolchildren on his bus his kids. He was driving that day, flagged down by a man who lived along the route, jimmy lee dykes, who demanded children from the bus. When the driver tried to put that bus in reverse he was shot and killed. We all know what happened next. Little ethan stolen from the front seat. Six days trapped in that bunker. Last night, here, those first images of ethan. In an abc news exclusive. Family hoping that we should america that ethan's smile has returned. There was something that we heard over and over again. There's a long line of heroes. I don't use that word lightly. I can also tell you that mr. Poland, the bus driver, is a hero. This could have been so much worse. I have no doubt that his children from being harmed. Reporter: Ethan's family talking to us. A thank you to the bus driver who always saved that front seat for ethan. What do you make of the bus driver? The fact that he -- the man is a hero. The man is a hero in this community. Reporter: We also learned from the neighbors in midland city, about a daily ritual. Mr. Poland would go home. He would sit on the porch and he would tell her about his kids. Reporter: The kids on the bus? Yes. Reporter: The town now remembering mr. Poland. They plan to name a baseball field or a stretch of highway in his name. Tonight, perhaps, the town's pastor putting it best. The nation has learned to love a man. Because of what he did. He was going to do everything he could to protect those kids. Reporter: He did. He did. He did.
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