I love writing about heroes. Indeed, I believe heroes and the deeds the perform are my favorite topics in writing this blog.
Frankly, I don’t know why that’s the case. It might be a product of my boyhood fascination with them. Perhaps that fascination never has left me.
I just posted a blog item a few minutes ago about the firefighters doing battle with the flames in California. They are heroes of the highest order. So are police officers. So are the medical personnel who respond first when disaster strikes.
Yes, I count the military men and women who answer the call to defend the nation as heroes.
Heroes all have a few things in common.
First and foremost is that they don’t consider themselves to be heroes. To a person, they shy away from the title of “hero.” They’re just doing their job. They’re in the “wrong place at the right time,” or maybe it’s the “right place at the wrong time.”
They don’t boast about their exploits, any more than rich people brag about their wealth, or smart people boast about their intelligence. Hmm … am I sticking my finger in anyone’s eye here? I suppose so . . . but I digress.
Heroes don’t look for opportunities to display their heroic tendencies. These opportunities are thrust upon them. A warrior who walks among his or her comrades on patrol becomes a hero when enemy soldiers open fire on them and that warrior responds to the horror that erupts all over them.
The firefighter who hears the bell at the fire house heads toward an unknown “enemy.” A police officer pulls over a traffic violator never knowing with any degree of certainty how that traffic stop will conclude, which is why I never use the term “routine traffic stop” when discussing these incidents. I did one time early in my career as a reporter and a local sheriff schooled me about a fundamental truth known to cops everywhere: “There’s no such thing as a ‘routine traffic stop.'”
Cops are heroes. So are firefighters. Same with paramedics. So are the military personnel who defend us against those who seek to harm us.
I love writing about them all. Doing so fills me with pride that I can honor them in this small way.