Where are the Heroes?

I was reading this blog post from over a year ago and it struck me as appropriate considering I had just seen “Flags of our Fathers.”

The movie “Flags of our Fathers” by Clint Eastwood is about the surviving 3 flag raisers from Iwo Jima. The premise is that there are no heroes. The blog post is about the NYT denegrating the memory of past heroes and coming to the conclution that there really are NO HEROES.

When I saw the film, which is actually quite good, I realized there was something missing. You see, the Battle of Iwo Jima had the most Medals of Honor given out for all of WWII. The motto on the Marine Corp Memorial to the battle is “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virture.” It seems to me the island was crawling with heroes who knew the stakes of this battle in determining the fate of the Americas, the Chinese and ultimately the Japanese themselves. A lot of lives were lost on Iwo Jima but many more were saved. So it strikes me as odd that we don’t see any of that in the film. I suppose to show what risks some of the men took to save their comrades would blow the whole concept of the film away. To be fair the film echos “Doc’s” words by saying the real heroes are dead on Iwo Jima. Well, not all of them died I am afraid.

There is an apparent contridiction between who the New York Times cares to promote and those who it seeks to denegrate. While the heroic acts of Audie Murphy and Sgt. York are written off as myths they do recognize the valorous deeds of John Kerry (D. Mass.) That is not just hypocritical but it is manipulative.

It’s not a great thing to be a hero. It’s bloody, horrible, cruel and often quite thankless. To be a hero is to write off your own life. Should you survive (not typical of those getting the highest honors) you have to live with both what you’ve done and the impact it has on your mind. Heroes exist.

It’s a good article and I really suggest reading it. Draw your own conclusions.

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