Traetorin Mitchell was a model student, an excellent baseball player and a hero.
Milledgeville Mayor Mary Parham-Copelan wanted his family to know that his final act of bravery will never be forgotten.
On Tuesday, Copelan presented Mitchell posthumously with the Mayor’s Award for Heroism. His family was in attendance to collect the award on his behalf.
“My heart still flutters time and time again just to even think about that incident,” Copelan said. “It does my heart joy to be able to present the family with a little something.”
Mitchell and some family members were swimming and boating on Airport Island in May when a current came in a washed another passenger out. The family, including Mitchell, were able to save the first person in distress. Sadly, Mitchell went under and never came back up.
“To think of the act of bravery that that young man presented at that moment, to save someone else without thinking of your own life, we are so grateful for his act of heroism,” Copelan said.
Councilwomen Denese Shinholster shared with the family how heartbroken she heard the news of Mitchell’s passing.
“I can’t imagine the way you all are feeling,” she said. “It was such a personal sacrifice.”
Shinholster, who is the mother of two daughters, also encourages those who are planning to get on the water this summer to be careful.
“People love the water when it’s hot, but we want people to wear a vest when they are on the water,” she said. “We want everyone to pay close attention to the water and just make sure that they are safe.”
Mitchell was a student at Oak Hill middle school and would have turned 13 this July.