When the US thought the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island might explode, President Jimmy Carter didn't hesitate to put his own and the First Lady's lives on the line. If the people nearby felt threatened, then they would go there to give them hope. The following is from PBS' web site, as is the accompanying photo. Here's a quote from their article.
"The national and international media had given the accident at Three Mile Island front page attention for days and venerable network newsman Walter Cronkite was speaking of a 'horror' that 'could get much worse.'
"Carter believed that the people of Pennsylvania and the nation were looking to him for leadership, so on April 1, Carter inspected the damaged plant. Middletown mayor Robert Reid later spoke of Carter's visit as providing a much-needed morale boost. 'People weren't talking to one another. They were cooped up in their homes, and when he came, it seemed like everyone came out to see the president and it was really a shot in the arm,' Reid recounted to writer Mark Stephens."I always thought that was a brave thing for a president to do. Some presidents are the sort that run for the bunkers when a threat is three states away. Others head for the fire. It always seemed that Carter, when presented with a choice, tried to do the right thing. I'm very grateful to him for that and I see him as a powerful role-model.
Jimmy Carter was courageous then and he's never stopped his life work -- to foster peace. The man is open about who he is. When you hear him speak, you know in your heart that he simply considers himself to be a vessel for good and a tool for justice. He will let himself be used in any way that furthers these aims.
Many people see Carter as a deeply committed, religious man. But when I look at him, what I see is a moral man.