Heroes Will Always Be With Us

Articles appear from time to time bemoaning or approving the notion that we are in a post-heroic age. The bemoaners bemoan the passing of heroism and love of country, and the approvers are pleased that man has finally abandoned the outdated and ill-worn concept of honor and sacrifice. I’m not convinced the age of heroism is gone. We all remember that in the 1930s the students at Oxford University, disillusioned by the senseless slaughter of the Great War of 1914-1918, issued the Oxford Union manifesto that declared that the undersigned would not fight for King and Country in any future war. Yet when war did come, just a few years later, they fought for King and country just like everybody else. We forget that on the afternoon of December 6, 1941, the people of the United States were overwhelmingly opposed to entering the war then raging in Europe and Asia, and how, two days later, on Monday morning, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the lines at the recruiting stations in every city in the country wound around the block. It would appear that a series of wars deliberately designed not to be won but to be managed has left a sour taste in the mouths of our young people, accounting for the non-heroic attitude of many, but let there be a shooting war against an equal opponent who has attacked us and you will see enough heroism, sacrifice and love of country to last a lifetime.

True heroism’s not a sometime thing
That only some are born to but not others
Heroic deeds to make the heavens ring
Brave heroes who were born to noble mothers
A hero is a man who goes to work
Each morning be it rain or snow or illness
A child who fears the dark where dangers lurk
Yet lays there silent in the darkened stillness
The mother with a baby who is sick
Who stays all night at bedside softly praying
True heroes all who do not get to pick
The roles in life they were consigned to playing
Policemen who take life in hand each day
And those who fight the all-consuming fires
Get up and go to work knowing that they
Face danger from the threat that ever tires
The medals go to those who, placed by fate
To be the one to die to save his buddy
And by his actions on that bloody date
Will live in glory time can never muddy
It isn’t for the medals man transcends
He does not fight for medals or for glory
He fights for country, family and friends
And should he live to tell his medaled story
‘Twould sound prosaic, stilted, at its best
An inner voice that said there’s pain for bearing
And so they laid him to eternal rest
For what he was, not for the medals wearing

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