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The Meaning of Hero

Updated on October 28, 2010


While talking to a friend the other day he mentioned to me that the word hero was the most over used word in our vocabulary. I argued that to say that bordered on blasphemy and to write about it would only bring more criticism than this average white boy could handle. Then I thought about it and began to realize he was right. It seems many of us use the term to describe the act of doing our jobs as being a hero. The man that drilled the escape shaft into the mine in South America was widely described as a hero by the media. This man did not research the area and expound " This is where I shall drill the hole to free these men.”. He was just doing his job. Do we have to receive accolades and praise every time we do the right thing or our job? It seems we have become people who are praise junkies. What happened to the day that a fireman put out a fire and a policeman stopped a criminal without having to be told how brave they are. We already know those positions are filled with those who feel a need to do what is right and do it everyday. If they got into that job for the praise, than they got into it for the wrong reasons. How much more is the man who is fighting our current war more a hero than the man who fought in the Vietnam War? Not one bit. Both men fought and many men lost their lives in a war in another country thousand of miles from home. The big difference is that the current soldier finds that he is more accepted today than the previous. I think that is wonderful and many men from my era wished they had that. Fighting a foreign war and dieing for your country is the ultimate sacrifice and the term hero applies. The solders and the policeman and the firemen are all doing their jobs because they want to be there. When they do something special that goes beyond the norm than they should be heralded. When they lose their lives fighting for us, protecting us or saving us then we should hold them up as a hero. When a person does his job and completes it as he should then pat him on the back and say job well done. Reserve the term hero for the people it applies to. When you apply it to the person that is only doing what he or she is told you take away from the real meaning. When the phase is over used then the person it really applies to is robbed of its' true meaning. Let's not do that. Make it a true description.


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    • alzel127 profile image

      Alex Zelahy 5 years ago from Indiana

      A very good point. My wife just passed away after 41 1/2 yrs of marriage. She was my hero since I met her when we were eight.

    • profile image

      Blissful 5 years ago

      I strongly beleive that hero is some one who is dearest to you.and valued by you.

    • profile image

      swet 5 years ago

      A Hero Is A Person Who Risk's Their life To Try And Save A Life.

      It's As Simple As That.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Here in America athletes are heroes, media personalities are heroes, Hollywood stars and starlets are heroes, reality TV people become heroes. The word has become lost in translation and understanding. I do believe soldiers, police officers, firefighters, and many more who risk their life for unknown folk are heroes.

      We must be more thoughtful when using the term Hero.

    • DTroth profile image

      Diana Owens 6 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

      To me, the term "hero" applies to someone who goes above and beyond their normal call of duty, no matter what their job description is.

      BUT...on the SAME side of that coin, I really do feel that ALL soldiers, no matter what era they're from, truly are hero's in my book. Even if you served state side, there is always the potential for you to be shipped overseas to war. Just signing up, knowing that you might be sent into battle somewhere, is brave to me...even if you only signed up to get a college education. It still applies. I'm sorry Jay, but I always say "THANK YOU" to all the men and women (and that includes YOU, too, darlin') who put themselves at risk to protect our country and little ol' me. (:

      peace to you...always,


    • Katzky profile image

      Katzky 7 years ago

      The meaning of Hero for me is just one word but it composed of two person.. PARENTS! oxoxoxox

    • JayDeck profile image

      JayDeck 7 years ago from New Jersey

      I think most firefighters, police officers, and soldiers are uncomfortable with the term, no matter what they are being praised for. I served in the Army, stateside, during our first turn in Iraq, and I'm uncomfortable being thanked for my service, which happens if I bring it up while blogging. If I mention my service, it is to make a larger point; though disconcerting and unnecessary, I usually shrug off the thank yous. God help me if I ever get a "hero."

      Thanks for the hub.


    • Adwello profile image

      Adwello 7 years ago from St Leonards

      It's just one of those meaningless terms borrowed from Greek drama.