This I Believe

Stephen - Goode, Virginia
Entered on September 6, 2007

“This I Believe…”

I believe that the heroes in society are too rare, and do not receive the praise they deserve for the deeds that they commit to doing everyday. The heroes are not limited to those in uniform such as police officers, firemen, or members of the armed services, but others that go out of their way and sometimes put themselves at risk to help others. Heroic acts usually are made by a person’s immediate reaction to a situation, any hesitation often leads to the opportunity to help passing by quickly, and this frequently results in tragedy. I sometimes wonder what great tragedies could have been avoided if there were more people willing to act, instead of those who waited for others to save them.

Often times, the praise people get for doing great deeds is short-lived. The recognition right after a performance of a heroic act is often of epic proportions, making some people into modern day legends. After 9/11 the firemen, police officers, and civilians who either risked or lost their lives from the attack or ensuing rescue efforts were hailed as heroes. They were honored by various organizations and towns across the country raised money to buy new fire trucks and other equipment that was needed by the various departments. The first anniversary of the event comes and the recognition for those who acted probably reached its peak. As the tragedy grew more distant for those without a direct connection to it, Hollywood waited until it felt like it’s far enough in the past that they could make some money from it and not rub too many people the wrong way. It took about four to five years for Hollywood to churn out a couple movies “honoring” those who were part of the tragedy. One of the movies actually donated 10% of opening weekend proceeds to a memorial for the passengers of the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. Other than that donation much of Hollywood’s praise was for publicity and other ways to make money, this praise quickly died down when the public lost interest. Nowadays, it is more likely to find reports, books, or movies about how everything was a government conspiracy or the United States brought this tragedy upon itself or some radical political nonsense, instead of still honoring those who did what they could to prevent even greater misfortune.

What makes everyday heroes so great is that they are the rarest kinds of people. They will be having a day that is like any other and a moment arises where they can make a difference. Those that act to help someone are usually reluctant to receive recognition for their actions, because they are satisfied just to know that they made a difference in another person’s life. Praising these people will set an example for others and perhaps help to rekindle other’s desires to be a hero themselves.