Centuries ago a HERO may have been a gallant knight who in a medieval story slew the dragon and saved the beautiful damsel in distress. A hundred years ago it could have been someone fighting in the trenches of Europe during the Great War or the nurse and medic that served alongside him and cared for his wounds.
In World War II it could have been the men approaching the beaches at Normandy hearing the bullets bouncing off the front of their landing craft. They knew that soon the boat would stop and the front that had stopped all the bullets would be lowered so they could rush onto the beach into those same bullets.
In Korea in conditions so severe, frostbite was one of the enemies greatest tools. Young lives were lost, families left without fathers, sons, daughters. A place where to this day both sides look at each other in hatred from their side of the border, a peace treaty never signed.
Viet Nam a war that so divided our country it still causes friction to this day. You read history and it was a politicians war, a war that couldn’t be won, a war that split our country, a war that many said should never have been fought. Because of my age this was “My War”. I know that because 38 of my friends, Heroes to me, have their names on The Wall.
Let’s jump forward to our current crisis, COVID-19. It has brought forward it’s own brand of Hero. Those who work in our grocery stores long hours trying to keep consumer goods on the shelf. They expose themselves everyday to masses of shoppers, a very unhealthy situation. The cross country truckers who deliver the products to fill the shelves. The drivers of the buses who are the main source of transportation for many critical workers. The workers who deliver our food and online purchases so that we may remain safe in our homes.
The list continues with first responders, emergency management personnel, Department of Health employees, hospital workers ranging from the cafeteria staff to the aides to the nurses and physicians as well as hospital administration. They are all in battle with an unseen enemy.
One that is so dangerous and deadly, refusing to discriminate as it claims its victims. The public is asked to fight this monster by staying 6 feet from anyone and washing their hands multiple times a day. Simple but very effective weapons. Those that are on the front lines of this war go home after they are done working each day. A day spent with great sickness, death, sorrow and personal danger. They go home, get up the next day and head back to fight so that their patients can live another day.
We truly do live in a land of HEROES