“…The real heroes are the soldiers who follow orders into a pitched battle knowing the odds are they won’t make it, but believing in their leaders and their country so deeply they will not stop.
Like Firefighters running into a burning building and Law Enforcement running toward shots being fired.
The Real Heroes.”
-Quote from, “Single Harness”
As our country has just remembered the 13th anniversary of the “other” day that will live in infamy, the 9/11 attacks, I’m reminded again of heroes. Not those heroes culture blindly pays homage to like athletes and movie stars, but the kind of heroes who actually define the word.
On that September day, heroes could be seen in black and yellow coats running up endless flights of stairs in doomed skyscrapers. They did this not to extinguish a fire but to save people. People trapped by the evil intentions of others. People whose only hope was the hero’s tenacity and fortitude. When all of lower Manhattan was running from the towers, these fire fighters were calmly and heroically walking toward the towers. These heroes defined their generation. As the towers crumbled, the Pentagon burned, and a field in Pennsylvania was made sacred by other heroes, the innocence of a country was taken, only to be immediately recaptured again by its heroes.
Other heroes could be seen in the following months as America’s great warriors, undaunted by bullets or explosions, launched themselves into the chaos to atone for the deaths of their fellow Americans. With only a simple order and faith in their country, they fought with ultimate disregard to themselves and proved once again that freedom is not free. With bravery and kindness a great many of them honored those heroes who wore the uniform before them. With grace and courage they not only fought an enemy bent on killing us, but in their mighty wake they came to the rescue of an oppressed and miserable people. Their victory was assured if only for the nobility of their mission.
Heroes are heroes because they believe in something noble. They believe in it so much that they are willing to sacrifice, sometimes at great cost to themselves for the advancement of the cause. Whether it is a fireman climbing stairs to save innocents or soldiers fighting on a distant battlefield, as Americans we believe in the ideals of liberty. And that liberty is worth fighting for, even dying for. Those that carry that torch are not just worth remembering, but are true heroes in every sense of the word.