What are some examples of modern day heroism and heroes? Please provide as many examples as possible.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to this depends largely on two main factors.  First, it depends on how you define a hero.  Second, it depends on your own personal beliefs and opinions.

There are different ways to define what a hero is.  To some, a hero is someone that you wish to emulate.  If we use this definition, some people will see athletes as heroes.  Others will see celebrities as heroes.  This is because those people want to be rich and famous or extremely good at something like the athletes and celebrities are.  To others, a hero is someone who reacts very well in an emergency, particularly if they save people’s lives while doing so.  In this view, someone like the pilot of the airplane who landed in the Hudson River (Chesley Sullenberger) in 2009 would be a hero.  Another such hero would be the teachers (like Victoria Soto) who helped people escape the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.  To still other people, heroes are those who routinely do jobs that are of great benefit to society, even if they do not do any specific action that makes them stand out.  This is why we talk (particularly on days like today, which is Veterans’ Day) about the idea that all members of the armed forces are heroes.

Heroism can also depend on the degree to which a person’s views coincide with your own.  We often see people who make sacrifices for a cause as heroes, but only if we believe in their cause.  That is why some people, for example, see leakers like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning as heroes while others have a much more negative view of them.   As another example, some see people like Ted Cruz as heroes for trying to prevent the government and the debt from growing even as others think that they are terrible for causing the government shutdown.

There are many people in today’s world who can be seen as heroes.  We make our choices about who we call a hero based on our own definition of heroism and our own opinions.

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