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Top 11 Heroes Of 2011 (SLIDESHOW)

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When it comes to the tragedies that defined this year -- from Jared Loughner's shooting rampage to the tornadoes that ravaged Joplin -- the stories of ordinary citizens who decidedly risked their own lives for others were often just as compelling as the news itself. Beyond such life-risking tales, there were heroic animal stories that defied reason and others in the public eye who quietly inspired others. Read 11 such stories of heroic inspiration that show the invaluable power of selflessness.

SLIDESHOW:

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For more on the best of 2011, visit bestof2011.aol.com.

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