Heroism…what constitutes an act of heroism? Does being shot while sitting in a car count as an act of heroism? Is simply being a police officer enough to warrant hero status?
These Are NOT Heroes
Tim Knight from Slope of Hope
A couple of days ago, I was listening on the radio to Joe Biden speaking at the funeral of one of the two NYPD cops who had been killed on December 20th. Biden referred to one of the officers, whose funeral he was attending, as a “hero.” Not-so-beloved NYC Mayor de Blasio added to this with “New York City has lost a hero, a remarkable man because of the depth of this commitment to those all around him.” So, again: a hero.
I was so angry at what I was hearing that I turned the radio off (and, as boring as driving a car is, it takes a lot for me to choose silence over listening). Why was I so mad? Simple: the fact that these guys were shot dead doesn’t make them heroes. Period.
Were they nice guys? I dunno, maybe. Were they diligent officers? Could be; I have no idea. Did they love their families? I don’t know! Stop with the questions! What I do know is that the simple act of sitting in a squad car and having a lunatic put a bullet through your brain doesn’t make you a hero. The word has become overused, particularly by politicians who are doing nothing more than pandering to the public.
Just as a totally random example, I did a search for Medal of Honor recipients and grabbed a description of the very first one I found; read this:
Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines
OK, folks, now that is a hero in my book. He did something selfless in the face of horrific risk to his own welfare. Sure, he was in a dangerous place (just like, to a vastly lesser extent, the NYPD cops) but the cold fact of the matter is that he took the path of sacrifice rather than self-preservation. And you don’t have to be a soldier or cop to be a hero. Any everyday person can fit the role, and throughout history, many have.
Would either Wenjian Liu or Rafael Ramo behaved in the same fashion as Corporal Dunham? Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll never know. And if they did, they should rightly be called heroes. But, for pity’s sake, let’s try to reserve these labels for those who truly deserve them.
The officers died a needless and tragic death, and I’m glad the shooter took his own life and saved taxpayers the expense of giving him a trial. But……………….these are………not…………heroes.