Hero Worship?

What constitutes a 'hero' nowadays. Lets see.
The Dictionary defines hero as:

Any person noted for his/her achievements1.

The popular media for a long time has equated hero with someone that is popular, or attention getting in a positive way. That all changed last year. the word itself is badly in need of a re-definement, primarily because of over use. In myths and in legends, it defines someone who has extraordinary adventures, and yet comes out alive an well in the end.

I'm going to be highly controversial here, so hold off on the flame throwers. I DO NOT think that the fire service and police force qualify for day to day events. At least not in the ancient use of the word. I know quite a few in both professions. They are excellent folk, and many selfishly give themselves to their profession, but they are not quite heros in the traditional sense. Granted, risking life and limb is an courageous deed. I think that the many firefighters who gave their lives rescuing the thousands in the Trade Center qualify. Even they knew, I think, that they most likely would not make it out, they tried to get as many people out before the towers collapsed. Overall, they are what I could term as ideal people, giving of themselves and not expecting any reward.

Sports figures don't qualify as heros as much as they do qualify as celebrities. Unfortunately, Children look up to them as such. Most athletes have learned this, and they act a lot better, usually. There are a few notable exceptions.

Are Soldiers heros? I'll quote Yoda: Wars not make one great. But during a war, things happen that bring out heros in ordinary men and women.

1 the American Heritage Dictionary, 1973. Yes it's outdated. Bite me.

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