Ernest Hancock
Website: www.ernesthancock.com

I’ve taken some time to define for myself the word “hero”.

I think the simplest example is someone overcoming the instinct for personal survival in an effort to accomplish something they are convinced is more important than their own safety.

Young men and women with long lives ahead of them, men with families, women with children, wealthy and poor by the thousands were convinced that their personal interests, on balance, was served by enlisting in the armed forces in a collective effort to defend our nation from those that threatened our freedoms. Americans have a very rich tradition of coming to the aid of family and friends when their help is clearly needed and we saw this happen once again when thousands of heroes put their personal relationships on hold in an effort to ensure a future free of fear.

This article doesn’t have a “but”. You don’t have to worry about being tricked into reading about…. other stuff. I just want to share with you my pride in the kind of people we are. We are giving when allowed to be, we are trusting when not abused, we are confident when left to fend for ourselves, we are generous when presented with a need, we are loving when it is appreciated… and often when it is not, we are tolerant when our rights are respected, we are courageous when threatened and Americans are never short of heroes when we believe our freedoms are at stake

As time passes the friends and family of those injured, maimed and killed will come to understand the truth behind the many conflicts our loved ones sacrificed for. But for the soldiers the most important truth is what was in their heart. Too many good Americans are blamed for the abuses of their willingness to serve their fellow Americans. Too many good men and women are not recognized for the character trait that has sustained this great country for centuries. I wish to do so now. Thank you very much. Thank you for demonstrating the best in each of us.

To those that abuse this trait I have little to say. Readers will notice that I focus more on our responsibility as individuals to recognize the evils of those that would manipulate our emotions and confound our intellect. But I will say that I don’t expect to feel much pity for those that are due the justice that Americans seem to eventually get around to exacting on those deserving. The very character traits that make us a great people are the ones used to serve the interests of those that do not serve freedom. And with every example of heroism I am encouraged with the thought, “In the end, Freedom Always Wins”.