“I wasn’t even thinking about trying to join the Reserves, on account of I’m not so good with straight lines. I was just at the training grounds delivering mail, but then the Wonderbolts got called up because Lord Tirek was gonna attack Cloudsdale, and what was I supposed to do? I mean I can’t just stand around while Equestria is under attack, so I flew right in at him alongside the regular Wonderbolts and punched him super hard like BLAMMO! Didn’t work too good, but it was okay eventually ‘cuz Twilight and her friends beat him up with rainbows or something. Lieutenant Soarin’ said it would look pretty bad if a civilian got hurt doing the Air Corps’s job, and I thought he was gonna be mad at me, but he said they’d just have to make me a Reservist and then it would be all official. Also I got these medals an’ stuff.
...Oh, and this one’s for jumping in front of a bomb some jerk threw at Princess Twilight. I got hurt then, too, I was kinda made of crystal for a while?, so that’s why the other one has gold wings.”
Tumblr version here.
This mare's the best kind of hero -- the kind that doesn't seek glory and isn't bound by duty. She just does what she's gotta do. Awesome art and awesome sentiments, here. Well done!
Between at least trying her hardest to stand against Tirek (Me, I'd probably have been flying in the opposite direction as fast as I could), her noble sacrifice to save Twilight in the movie, and just generally not letting her condition stop her from going out, staying active, and living her life to the fullest, I'd say Derpy is easily one of the bravest characters on the show.
(This bot is unofficial, it is NOT affiliated with Equestria Daily. If you do not wish to get these notifications anymore, please just block this account.)
As for why so many people "misinterpret" the scene? Well, its a very rapid sequence of events and most of what happens is implied rather than shown. For example: Dash's rescue. We hear Rainbow shout "Twilight" and see a streak of rainbow light just before the bomb hits. But we never see Dash grab Twilight and fly off—the whole rescue bit is implied, not shown.
The same is true of Derpy's "sacrifice". Going over the scene again, all you can say for certain is Derpy ran toward Twilight and ultimately got crystallized. Her intentions, and her actions in those last few moments, are a mystery. Since most people like Derpy, most people chose to interpret those events in her favor: i.e. that she was deliberately trying to save Twilight.
It's nice to see her get some medals and recognition for actions she's done.
Also, she was BEHIND Twilight as Rainbow Dash flew in just in time to get Twilight out of the way.
1) You have no more basis for declaring that she's "in a panic" than I do to say she is acting deliberately. We simply aren't given enough information to judge Derpy's state of mind.
2) The phrase "jumped in front of "is an idiom, derived from the old saw about jumping on a live grenade. That she wasn't literally jumping is immaterial.
3) The camera zooms in on Twilight when Rainbow grabs her. Because of that its impossible to be sure of Derpy's relative position. But if she kept running in a straight line she would indeed pass in front of Twilight, not behind her.
In this case - with no clear indicator of whether or not it was intentional that Derpy saved Twilight or was merely running in panic - the likely outcome is the one that is the most positive: rescuing Twilight.
MLP has great writing, but at the end of the day it's meant to be a sweet and kind sort of show. If my options are panic and heroism, leaning towards heroism seems to be more in line with the general tone of the show and thus is the more likely of the two if the odds/evidence is currently 50/50.