Celebrities and real life heroes convened at the Shrine Auditorium here in Los Angeles, CA last night to attend the taping of CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute which honors the people who have gone above and beyond to help those in need … our everyday heroes. The ceremony, which will air on CNN on Thanksgiving night this Thursday, was attended by Hollywood A-listers as well as real life heroes who have made an impact this year … including the 33 Chilean miners who survived a 69 day ordeal underground and were just rescued last month. Here are a few photos from the red carpet arrivals last night and some deets about the show itself:
A woman whose group has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery has been named the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year. Anuradha Koirala was chosen by the public in an online poll that ran for eight weeks on CNN.com. CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed the result at the conclusion of the fourth annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.” “Human trafficking is a crime, a heinous crime, a shame to humanity,” Koirala said earlier in the evening after being introduced as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010. “I ask everyone to join me to create a society free of trafficking. We need to do this for all our daughters.” Koirala was introduced by actress Demi Moore, who along with her husband, Ashton Kutcher, created DNA, The Demi and Ashton Foundation, which aims to eliminate child sex slavery worldwide … “Since 1993, she has helped rescue more than 12,000 women and girls. Through her organization Maiti Nepal, she has provided more than a shelter for these girls and young women, she has created a home. It is a place for them to heal, go to school, learn a skill, and for some who are infected with HIV/AIDS, it is the place where they can spend their days surrounded by love.” Koirala will receive $100,000 to continue her work with Maiti Nepal, in addition to the $25,000 awarded to each of the top 10 Heroes honored Saturday night … The show opened with a salute to the 33 Chilean miners and five of the people who rescued them last month after the miners spent 69 days underground. “For 69 days we were amazed by these 33 brave miners,” Cooper said in welcoming the miners onto the Shrine stage. “Their ordeal was unthinkable; their rescue, unbelievable. No one has ever been trapped underground so deep for so long and survived. “They endured a nightmare, experienced a miracle, and in the end became each others’ brothers and heroes. On behalf of CNN Heroes, we salute all 33 Chilean miners.” After the miners sang the Chilean national anthem, two of them — speaking through a translator and holding the Chilean flag — expressed their appreciation. “We want to thank the world, and we want to thank God for your prayers,” Luis Urzua told the audience in Spanish. “Our families suffered. Our children suffered, too. But thanks to the prayers of the whole world, we could come out of this difficulty,” Mario Sepulveda added. “Some of our rescuers are here with us tonight,” Urzua said. “Thank you for bringing us home. You are our heroes.”
John Legend, Bon Jovi and Sugarland were among the musicians who performed on the show last night and celebrities including Halle Berry, Kid Rock, LL Cool J, Aaron Eckhart and the folks pictured above were on hand to present awards. I’m always so impressed and SO inspired by the real life heroes who are honored by CNN every year. There are so many unsung heroes who work tirelessly on a daily basis to help others and they do so happily and without any desire to be recognized for their efforts. It is very cool that this annual tribute seeks out those people and honors them, not necessarily for their personal glory but because those people shine as a beacon of human kindness and selfless inspiration. I’ll be tuning in this Thursday night to see these amazing people honored and I will surely be giving thanks for all the amazing work they do.
[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]