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In today's modern times we hear the word hero all of the time. The news media throws the term around as if it is an everyday word. What exactly is a hero? Who, or what, can be classified as heroic? The correct definition of the word hero is: One invested with heroic qualities in the opinions of others. That is a fine definition for books and intellectual minds. To the average person, however, a hero is much more.
To better understand what a heroic quality is it may be easier to describe what a hero is not. Nearly everyday on television people talk of athletes and celebrities as being heroes, but are they? To put it mildly, they are not heroes at all. Possibly role models, but for the most part, not in possession of heroic qualities. When Michael Jordan and Bruce Willis, by risking their lives, save an abandoned child from a typhoon they will possess the qualities to be called heroes in my opinion. Policemen and firemen are at times classified as heroes. Until they prove themselves they are just ordinary people. The title heroic is not given by occupation, rather by achievement.
So what exactly is a hero? Parents are true heroes. Most parental units sacrifice time, money, love and everything else for their children. When times are tough good parents do all they can to make things better for their children. Mothers and fathers often work two jobs, late at night, or on weekends to provide for their kids. My mom is always there for me when I am sick, telling me she wishes she were the sick one. She also reassures me that she always has an extra kidney if I happen to need one. I personally view my parents as true heroes for all they do, have done, and will do.
A local hero emerged recently in Flint Police Officer Leslie Keely. Plainly put, Officer Keely gave his life, for us, the residents of Genesee County. Les Keely died while in the line of duty. Involved in a high-speed pursuit of a vehicle, Keely was killed when his cruiser was struck broadside by another police car, driven by a Michigan State Trooper. At that point in time, Officer Keely became an instant hero. He lost the most important thing in the world, his life, doing what he was paid to do, serve and protect the public.
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Another local hero recently was borne out of tragic events. This particular man was killed trying to be a Good Samaritan. Hearing a traffic accident on the expressway outside his residence he went to help the victims. While assisting the people involved in the accident the man was struck by a passing car and killed. A Good Samaritan, a man only helping fellow humans, killed while lending a hand. That is truly heroic. Did he have to leave his house to help? Would it have been different if he stayed inside, and waited for the police? Undoubtedly so, but this man decided to see if he could offer assistance, and he lost his life. That man is a hero to the fullest extent of the word.
A hero can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and racial backgrounds. Heroes walk among us everyday usually oblivious to our knowing because heroes, for the most part are extremely humble. They do not walk around with ?hero here? emblazoned on their clothes. Most, in fact, deny that he or she has even been heroic; oftentimes saying they did what they thought was the right thing to do. Every single person that we classify as a hero is because they did what they thought was right, or what was expected of them. Every American soldier killed in combat fighting for freedom and liberty. All of the police officers and firefighters that save lives, property or who are killed in the line of duty. People who donate organs to save lives, the man killed on the expressway donated his heart, liver and kidneys. Teachers and students killed in school shootings. Good Samaritans that perish while helping others or who risk their lives to save other lives. They are true heroes. Everyday people that become heroes for what they have done.
People have their own ideas of who can be called a hero. Whoever those people classified as heroes may be, the term hero should not be used lightly. It must be reserved for only those who truly deserve. Not role models, but the people we call heroes.