Cheap Heroism? You Tell Me...
|I am not sure when it started. This devaluing of the word hero. But it is running rampant.|
Used to be someone had to do something heroic to be considered a hero. Like save someone’s life. Now they just have to die, sometimes just doing their job.
Let me give you an example.
I grew up hearing about a soldier named Audie Murphy, pictured here. This guy was a hero. During WWII in France, while fighting in 2 feet of snow, he single handedly held off an entire unit of German soldiers. Not single handedly as in Audie and his men. Single handedly! He had sent his men to the rear for their safety.
And then he fought the Germans himself. First with his gun, then using the guns on a burning tank and finally calling in an airstrike.
Audie Murphy was a hero, the winner of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars with Valor device, and three Purple Hearts.
I bring this up because of a disturbing trend I am seeing. I am sure it started further back, but I first noticed it during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
Our soldiers and public servants are being called heroes when they die, no matter the circumstances. Soldier dies in a mess tent accident, he dies a hero. Motor pool mishap, another hero. A policeman is gunned down during a traffic stop and he too is now hailed as a hero.
How did this happen?
Now don’t get me wrong, every single one of those guys above was somebody’s dad, brother, mom, sister, son or daughter… and for that we mourn, offer our condolences, and thank them for their contribution and ultimate sacrifice to our country.
I just wonder if in our need to see everyone as a hero, we’ve devalued the term.
CNN has heroes, the fire department has heroes, the Boy Scouts have heroes, and here in Nevada, a likely unconscious pilot is somehow being called a hero for avoiding the grandstands and only crashing his plane into the box seats at the Reno Air Show.
If all those folks are heroes, what does that make a real hero like Audie Murphy?
A Super Hero?
You tell me…