It has taken post-World War II America a long time to figure out that police, firefighters, and the military are not the only heroes in our society.
It is true that country music singers, rappers, movie stars, and billionaires have been getting more and more traction in recent decades. Outstanding individual pay-it-forward-type citizens have stood out as well.
But once the pandemic broke out, America finally realized we had to lean on health care workers, teachers, and even factory, transportation, and retail workers more than ever before. And those workers stood up to the task amazingly well.
In our democracy, especially in its economically and socially declining phase, we should also consider the existence of other, largely unrecognized, categories of heroes. In my mind these include non-profit founders, public health, welfare, and justice system officials (yes, even judges), small business owners, and newspaper editors.
And if we are somehow able to think like an actual free people, we can’t overlook our own family ancestors, our churches, our elected officials, and especially the founders of our nation.
Heroes are not defined alone by muscles, courage, and money. They must also have knowledge, public spirit, and exemplary lives.