It is Memorial Day in America. Today we mourn and celebrate the lives lost in war while in service to our country. The word “Hero” has become overused in our colloquial culture. Teachers who help poor children learn are not heroes. Fathers are not heroes to daughters. A person pulled from a burning building was not saved by a hero. A Hero has a specific meaning and — I argue today of all days — a true Hero is a soldier who donates a bit of their body fighting on foreign soil. Some leave a leg. Some leave an arm. Others leave their hearts.
Heroes are not born. Heroes are not made. Heroes are constructed only in the terms of what bits of their bodies they leave behind.
Heroes do not seek recognition. Heroes do not want fame. Heroes know the price paid for the label was much too steep for earning any medal.
The True Hero knows any regular person would never want to pay the going price for Heroism because what you lose stings and hurts and it haunts you like a phantom for the rest of your life.
That’s why we must be careful where and how we put our people in jeopardy. We cannot ask Heroes to serve an ideal or a perhaps or as minions for personal revenge or political cowardice.
Heroes are forged in the united fight between Right and Wrong and in the war blood will drain and bodies will be shed and we, as a nation of cogent people, must all agree together the loss of human treasure is worth the Heroic effort in the end — and there must always be a winnable end before the sacrifice begins.
We all know the cruelty of madness. We understand how evil can corrupt the minds of the young. We are aware of the perils of death waged against a life of freedom. We only need to peel back recent memories to be bluntly reminded of other Heroes in other lands who felt called to the altar of Blood and Honor etched in the blade of a knife.
On Memorial Day, let’s come together and realize the danger to democracy when an entire generation of soldiers return to the Homeland wounded — and betrayed by those they believed — and are left to wonder in lonesome moments how they became overused Heroes out of the hot depths of the human lie and the shallow coldness of a political shilly-shallying that forever tarnished a nation’s honor.