(In all honesty, I ripped off the title from a great Rush song)
Here is the Merriam-Webster definition for the word hero:
1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
b: an illustrious warrior
c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities
d: one that shows great courage
For this purpose, we will include the word heroine for this piece.
I watched Saving Private Ryan the other night. In the comfort of my home, thinking how horrible the conditions must have been. There I am, content and safe in my own little world, secure in the knowledge that I won’t have to participate in a situation like that. Juxtaposing my life with that of the men who fought those battles, who fought just to stay alive, in the most stressful conditions imaginable. Wondering to myself if I would be able to do that if called upon.
People who fought for our freedom were heros.
It made me think of what it really means to be one.
Out of 7 billion people, there are not too many true heros around today. Thinking of the meaning, it very much depends on the social mores and collective desires of the specific society.
In the Muslim world, a suicide bomber who attempts to kill Jews would be considered a hero.
In Cuba, Fidel Castro has been considered a hero for his stance against the US.
A whistle blower in a company could be considered a hero.
For our purposes, I’ll point out what heroism is within western standards.
What constitutes a hero in our short history?
Can a politician be a hero? Depends on who it is and what the motives entail.
Barack Obama? A hero to some. Just for being who he is is enough for some to qualify him as one. But has he done anything worthy of the honor? Has he garnered his achievements in a noble manner. Most certainly not.
I consider Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II to be “political heros”. A triumvirate of will who managed to break the “Evil Empire” and it’s insidious spread of hopelessness and slavery.
Our Founding Fathers. Men with unimaginable intellect and foresight who built a nation formed on an ideal that all people are equal and should be free, endowed by their Creator with these rights. The willpower and determination they displayed is unmatched in the world even up to today.
Our military. From the Minutemen up to the brave and dedicated men and women who devote their lives to the service of their country. Each and every one can be labeled a hero for their sacrifice and honor.
Doctors and scientists, who have through the years advanced their craft for not only their own curiosity but for the betterment of mankind.
More recently, Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, miraculously landing an aircraft in the fridged waters of the Hudson, saving all on board.
The four Oakland policemen who lost their lives in the line of duty, due to a senseless act of depravity.
The passengers of Flight 93, who fought an unwinable battle against evildoers and possibly saved the lives of thousands of people in our nation’s capital, while sacrificing their own.
Mothers and fathers who extend to great lengths providing for their families, through good times and bad, always with an eye on bettering their children’s lives.
Heros. We need more in this world.
It would be a better place.