Letters to the Editor

With the death of John McCain maybe this is not a good time for an article on what a hero is, but on the other hand maybe it is the ideal time for that article.

What makes one a hero?

Does being shot make one a hero?

No, or that would include criminals, drug dealers and etc.

 

Does being captured or tortured make one a hero?

No, it makes them a victim of war and like any victim who is tortured it brings out our empathy and compassion for them, but as horrible as it is, it does not make one who endures it a hero.

Does risking one’s life make one a hero?

No, many jobs are high risk and those doing them are often paid very well to do them and others risk their life doing things for personal enjoyment, like rock climbing and racing cars.

Does doing things to benefit others make one a hero?

No, doing good things for others may make one a good person, but it does not make one a hero.

Does being in the military make one a hero?

No, being in the military does not make one a hero or every soldier on both sides of every war would be heroes.

Does being brave make one a hero?

No, being brave or not showing fear when doing risky things for entertainment or enjoyment does not make one a hero.

None of these things by themselves makes one a hero?

So, what makes one a hero?

Only two things are required:

  • One must be willing to risk or give one’s life for the benefit of another/ others.
  • And one must have truly risked one’s life or given one’s life for the benefit of another/others.

Terry O’Neill, Former alderperson and city activist

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