This last Monday was Memorial Day, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about heroes since then. My dad played in a hockey tournament this past weekend — the Armed Forces Classic. It benefits Honor Flight, which is devoted to serving our veterans. The competing teams were veterans and current service members of the four branches of the military: Army, Air Force (my dad’s branch), Marines, and Navy. (Air Force swept the tournament this year! Woohoo!)
As part of the championship game, there was a small ceremony honoring some of the veterans attending the game. One of them was 95 years young and had survived the assault on the beaches of Normandy. As they filed out to thunderous applause, I was so glad that my boys were there to see it.
We’re living in the midst of a war. But for a country at war, we sure act like we’re at peace. It’s almost as if we hear the word “hero” so often now that it’s become jaded. We should feel it like a kick in the gut. Without sacrifice, there is no hero.
Perhaps it’s coincidence that I also saw the new Star Trek flick, Into Darkness, this weekend. Don’t worry. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. But the movie, at its core, is about what it means to be a hero. It’s not recklessness. And it’s not cold calculation of odds and probabilities. It’s something much more human than that…and more Godly.
Heroism is the ultimate act of love.
Men and women have died that we may be free. Let’s never forget it.
Pass not this stone in sorrow,
But in pride,
And strive to live your life
As nobly as he died.
~The tomb of a British soldier in Monte Cassino