The word hero gets used rather loosely in our society today. We tend to think that some athlete who makes a game winner shot or play is a hero. Those individuals are put on a pedestal and receive endless hours of recognition in the media. Other examples or these so-called heroes are famous movie stars and singers. People tend to worship the ground that these people walk on and claim they are their heroes. I don’t see anything wrong with admiring people for their work, but when you start labeling someone a hero for achieving a feat for just playing a game, then the word gets stretched too far. In my view, a true hero is someone who gives up his or her life to benefit society and other people. As we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday in this country, let’s remember who the real heroes are and be thankful for their bravery and ultimate sacrifice.
Throughout the course of history, thousands of men and women have lost their lives in conflicts that we have been involved in around the globe. Most recently, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In many of these wars, the soldiers who lost their lives were not forced to join the military. The military in our country is strictly volunteer. Nobody forces anyone to join. The people who sign up do so out of a sense of pride and patriotism for this country. They fully know the risks and dangers that go with joining. At any moment, they may be called for deployment overseas in a harsh war zone. Many of these soldiers are young men and women in their late teens to late 20’s. Some are married with young children. It always breaks my heart when I hear about some young soldier who loses his or her life in action. I have been hearing a lot of these stories in the past 10 years with our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearly every week, a story breaks out about another soldier’s life lost. So many are very young with their whole lives ahead of them. In an instant, it is all snuffed out and they leave behind grieving friends and family members. These brave soldiers who lose their lives in action deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. The fact that they died while trying to defend our country makes them MY TRUE HEROES!!
If it wasn’t for these brave soldiers who risk their lives to protect our freedoms, our country would be totally different. We would probably be under some type of dictatorship and be forced to live under a strict set of rules regarding the way we live. There are many people in this world who absolutely hate American and would love nothing better to take over our country and turn it into some radical country where nobody has any rights. Women are treated like second class citizens, men are forced to join the military and the government dictates everything that we do or say. Imagine living in country like that? I am just grateful that we have still have people in this country who are willing to risk their lives to protect our freedoms so we can enjoy the type of lifestyles that many of us live.
Many of us this long weekend will be enjoying the unofficial kickoff to the summer season with barbeques, picnics, fun at the lake or ocean and family gatherings. I know I certainly will!! Sadly, a majority of us will never think about what this weekend is really about. I challenge everyone to take a few minutes and have a moment of silence to think about those brave people who gave their lives for our liberties and freedoms. Their selfless acts are the reason why this country is still the greatest in the world to live in. They are my true heroes.