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Posts tagged: Hero

JT: Nilson Is Mover/Shaker, No Hero

JT: In a thread yesterday Lizard_People stated, “Ron Nilson was a solid candidate, and is a great American hero.” Solid candidate? yes. great American hero? I don’t think so. There are many complimentary words which could be used to describe Ron Nilson - “successful businessman”, “volunteer”, “mover”, “shaker”, “Vo-Tech advocate” - but, to me, “hero” is not one of them. To me a hero is one who, at significant risk to his/her own person or life, acts to protect or rescue others. I think of those who run into burning buildings, battlefield actions, etc. It seems the American cultural definition of hero has changed, becoming little more than an individual who will stand on some principle. Is that it? I have also heard of young children who dial ‘911’ leading to a rescue referred to as heroes. They did a good thing, learned well, absolutely. But hero? What, today, makes a hero?

Question: Do we use the word ‘hero’ too loosely today? Who is your hero?

Statesman: Vernon Baker Was A Real Hero

It’s an article of faith that we live in an era when heroes are rare, if not extinct. But it takes the passing of a real hero to underscore the truth of the truism. Valor. Duty. Honor. Idahoan Vernon Baker exhibited all of those, even when his country treated him as a second-class citizen. Vernon Baker was black. He was called names and made to ride in the back of the bus on his way to basic training. He served in Italy in World War II in a segregated unit. When he saved wounded fellow soldiers by killing Germans, occupying their position and drawing enemy fire, he was not considered for the Medal of Honor. For black heroes, that recognition took an act of Congress in the 1990s. Baker died this week in St. Maries at age 90/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

  • Cutline: SR file photo of then General Colin Powell and Vernon Baker at Baker’s medal of honor ceremony in Washington, D.C., in January 1997.

Question: Do you know someone who’s a real hero?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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