“…detectives are investigating the claims from [the] Coral Springs Police Department that some deputies did not go into the school when they should have.” – Broward County Sheriff’s Office

Can this be the end of it? Can we stop using “hero” as a job title and reserve it for people that actually deserve it? Since 9/11, we’ve been told first responders (police, firefighter, paramedics) are all heroes. Add to that everyone who has ever serve in the military are all heroes. You can literally sign-up for your first enlistment, or enroll in a criminal justice class in college and you’re a hero. That’s not what heroes are.

Everyone knows that town where the cops sit at the bottom of a steep bridge and give out speeding tickets for 50 mph in a 45 mph zone. Are they heroes?  What about a guy who signs up for the military and gets kicked out in 8 months for a DUI? Even fight fighters, whose job is to literally go into burning buildings and save people (and who most correctly deserve the blanket “hero” designation) have members who falter when needed the most.

Sure, there are some heroes in these agencies. The police officer who talks a suicidal man into putting away his gun, the fight fighter who enters a burning building to pull someone to safety, the soldier who sacrifices himself to save his fellow soldiers, the coast guard crew that goes out in the worst mother nature has to offer to render aid to a sinking vessel; all of these people are heroes. But, so is Victoria Leigh Soto, the teacher who died while hiding her students from a shooter. So is Anival Angulo, a homeless man who heard cries from a burning building and ran in to save two children. So is Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who smuggled 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia in 1939. All of these are defined by actions, not jobs. These people are deserving of the title hero.

“Hero” should mean something. Don’t waste it on empty platitudes.

About Surferjeff

Jeff is a writer and photographer who empties his head on this blog. Reader beware!

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