Monday, November 20, 2006
Modern usage of the word hero seems to include anyone in the public eye. A football player is a hero; an actor is a hero; a teacher is a hero. Oh, no! The dictionary tells us that a hero is someone of courage, bravery, nobility. How courageous is it to play a game for millions of dollars; to act in a play for millions of dollars; to teach students?
What do I believe a hero is? A hero is a person who puts others’ safety above their own. A hero saves lives, fights wars, battles terrorism.
I was a teacher, and I’m no hero. My father fought in World War II. He was a hero. The policeman on the beat, the fireman who battles flames, our troops who protect our land from our enemies, these are heroes.
Several years ago I had the privileges of introducing my life-long friend, General James T. Scott, who spoke at our local Veterans’ Day celebration. At that time, as there were many school children present, I endeavored to explain what a true hero is. I hope some of them understood. General Scott fought in Vietnam, Granada, and the Gulf War and was in charge of the Army Special Forces when he retired. His life was given to keep our country free. He epitomized the word hero.