Saturday, September 6, 2008

What makes a hero?

The political campaigns are in full swing and have been for over a year. I have to say that every time I hear someone refer to John McCain as a hero, I wonder, just what makes him a hero.

To me a hero is someone who runs into a burning building to save a life. To me a hero is a soldier who puts their own life on the line to save the life of a comrade or a civilian. To me a hero is the police officer who puts himself or herself in danger to get a criminal off the streets. To me a hero is someone selfless, someone who acts without a thought to their own safety or well-being.

A hero is not someone who was captured in war and held prisoner. If that were the case, then every "enemy combatant" being held in Guantánamo would be considered a hero.

John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. I do not doubt that he endured pain, misery, and torture. But that doesn't make him a hero, it makes him a survivor.

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