Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans and Heroes

In 1954 while inaugurating Veteran's Day as a national holiday, President Eisenhower said: "On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly ... on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."

Reflecting on the term hero as Veteran's Day comes to a close. One definition is "Ordinary people doing extraordinary things when the situation demands it." I think that's true in many cases, particularly in times of war or crisis - the people to whom the Heroes Garden is dedicated is one example. I also thought about the meaning of a hero and the implications/burden of living with that designation while watching Flags of Our Fathers.

One of the tv shows I have gotten into this fall is NBC's Heroes. This rather unusual show is about several seemingly disconnected people who each discover that they have some type of superpower, and their reactions as they attempt to deal with their newfound discoveries. Here is the reflection of Hiro - the young Japanese character in the series...

The biggest question I have is am I a real hero? I cowardly hid while someone was being killed... I know a do-over is possible, but I also know it's risky to mess with the time-space continuum. What makes a hero? I got these powers for a reason. It's destiny. I question my heroism right now, and I hope I find my answer soon. Off toNew York!

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