What makes a hero?

What makes someone a hero?

On this Memorial Day, I am thinking about those who have fallen in the name of freedom, and considering what makes someone a hero.

According to the dictionary, a hero is:

“A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.”

“A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: i.e he was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.


 “A being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity”.

I looked up a few variations of the term “hero”. Interestingly, they always began with “a man who…”

But we all know women who are heroes.

Children are often heroic little beings, too.

My kids and I spent the morning outside playing with friends at the park. It’s an unremarkable late spring day, neither terribly warm nor chilly. It feels good. Safe. Easy. We’re heading out to a barbeque soon.

All that is opposite of actions taken by heroes, which are often dangerous, difficult and scary.

On this Memorial Day, I think of the unspoken heroes… those who haven’t died for us… but the ones who LIVED for us. They include our mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, doctors… all of the people who cared for us when we were small and didn’t know any better.

I don’t consider myself a hero, but parents are heroes in their own way. We protect, serve, shelter and love, and do so under the best and worst of circumstances. We do this every single day. Last night my eldest had a nightmare and came to tell me about it at 4 am. It happens. I hugged him tight, and as usual, I couldn’t fall back asleep for a few hours. His heart close to mine, he drifted into a quiet slumber.

My tiny lover of superheroes.

I am grateful for the men and women that protect and serve and work long, hard, frightening hours away from home in order to keep us safe. I have family members who are a part of the American military community and I honor them today.

I also honor their parents.

We are all a part of the same world. And in our own way, we can each bring a bit of heroism to it today.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

11 thoughts on “What makes a hero?

  1. paralaxvu says:

    I remember one hero in particular from the Vietnam War, partly because that was the war my generation grew up in and partly because he was my first crush and I met him at your mom’s house. His name was Tom Grant.

  2. Robbie says:

    there are heroes everywhere. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Love the picture of the sweet little hero!

  4. mamarific says:

    Love this post! When you stop and think about the sacrifices that were made for us to have the freedoms we enjoy…it is staggering. thanks for reminding me.

    And so true…I know lots of female heroes and kid heroes 🙂

  5. EllaDee says:

    For the most part I think you could say a hero is a being who when it counts is right there and thinks of another being first, but as I commented elsewhere when I think of Memorial Day and similar days of commemoration, a hero is someone who fights a battle or war for someone who can’t fight it for themselves. Lest we forget.

  6. Mayor Gia says:

    Aw, what a nice tribute to heroism.

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