Heroism is a term to describe those who, by their actions, should be honored for doing extraordinary things for their country; it should not be used as a tool for propaganda. The government used the term “hero” to describe Jessica Lynch. She was heroic in the sense that she was courageous enough to tell the truth about her experience in Iraq, but not in the sense that the Bush administration wanted us to believe. Pat Tillman was made out a “hero” when he died in Afghanistan. Tillman died from “friendly fire.” He was killed by American soldiers. Was he really a hero? In his case, I would say he was. Not because he died in combat, but because he enlisted after 9/11 to fight against those who he believed had attacked our country. Tillman left pro-football and joined the army, something he did not have to do. I have little doubt that Tillman was a true patriot with good motivations, just as Jessica Lynch was a patriot who wanted the American people to know the truth. These are heroes, and there are no doubt many like them, but just by wearing a uniform and obeying orders does make anyone a hero. Heroes perform heroic acts above and beyond the call of duty.
"originally published at Thomas Paine's Corner
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