Thursday, November 16, 2006


Some viewpoints are probably shared by most of us: There is a tradition in the annals of human affairs to select our heroes by their popularity, some more deserved than others. Tradition also has it that there are “conquering” heroes, like the Alexander’s and other military figures of note, or “suffering” heroes such as Mahatma Gandhi, who won his non-violent stature after a world renowned hunger strike. Places in history, once established, are usually secure for all time; the degree of their adulation often depends upon the balance of Hawks and Doves amongst us. But there are the silent and “unsung” ones too.

Many know the other kind, those “quiet” ordinary folks, our firefighters and police-forces living work-a-day stints, and some of the returning wounded from wars in other lands, who go on to live ordinary lives, like my uncles managed to do after WWI. Many more such heroes followed the Second World War and the other wars still going on. They are men and women who saw their families struggle with hunger and want through the great depression, like my father who silently walked up and down behind our “Auto Camp” one night, pulling his own aching teeth. Who among us has not seen the elderly battle-scarred survivors of illness and injury wordlessly living night after dark night, feeling the harbingers of all the ailments known to medical science flowing over, around and through them, knowing one such probably has their name on it.

If there is any point here it is that if you know them, you might celebrate them; let them see that the parades, the confetti and the blaring music is also for them. Chances are, however, they will mostly deny everything and avoid their places on the podium of fame.


AnnieElf said...

The quiet heroes among us mostly go unacknowledged because they are you and me. If we all could see with clearer eyes we would all see this, well, more clearly. Well written N.

Doug said...

This is good stuff! I love the walk through the generations.

PtCakes said...

The quiet heroes are teh best heroes.

blackdaisies said...

yes .. those quiet heroes deserve the cheers ... nice post : )