Thinking About American Heroes – AMAC






In our personal lives we have heroes – those to whom we look for inspiration if not emulation. Some are family, others more distant. Sometimes it’s worth looking back, widening the aperture, thinking bigger, and rethinking why they’re heroes.

For me, the founders of the Nation, as well as Lincoln, TR, Churchill, Reagan, Powell and men like the astronauts, writers, warriors, scientists and inventors of Apollo are all an inspiration. Colin Powell’s hero was George Marshall. These choices are personal, but I wonder if we rethink enough.

In exploration and science, we remember those who took risks “for all mankind”, Buzz Aldrin, Mike Collins and Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11, the Apollo 1, Challenger and Colombia crews, who died pioneers, Lewis and Clark, the Mayflower settlers and early American pioneers.

We remember inventors like telephone pioneer Alexander Graham Bell, agriculturalist George Washington Carver, automobile inventor Henry Ford, biologist Ernest Everett Just and, in our day, those who pioneered medicine, computers, nanotechnology and other discoveries.

In faith, philosophy, and transcendental writing, we have other heroes of sorts, those we turn to for guidance, compass, wisdom, and reflection, who help put things into perspective. .

Among musicians, Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and dozens of classical composers were followed by innovators like Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, early rock innovators, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Joanie Mitchell , Traveling Wilburys.

The main point is that, as individuals and as Americans, we look to the past for inspiration, upliftment, and forward thinking.

Now here’s the trick, big question: how can we be so divided, at odds and preoccupied with the present that we forget the big picture, the values ​​that bind us together and lead us to have common heroes ?

Today we have Americans who see themselves as one sub-group or another, all drifting towards the heroes of their own group, often celebrated for being against, for opposing, for tearing things down, not for finding a middle ground. Is this the modern premise on which we create heroes? How about celebrating those who personify kindness, creativity, insight, courage, invention, risk-taking, peaceful leadership, or humanity?

Today, dozens of factions identify themselves primarily by ideology, geography, skin color, language, national origin, political party, socioeconomic status, state citizenship, profession or their degree of “greenness”. They are ready to demolish other groups, but what about the Nation?

Think with me about this. We are all Americans. It should mean that we believe in the Bill of Rights, upward mobility, equal opportunity, individual freedom, free markets, entrepreneurship, mutual belief and freedom to each, and we are all proud of the innovative American history. There never was a nation like this.

That’s why we are American first, We have to be. We should know what the whole world knows: when the tokens fell, World War I and World War II, the Cold War, the space race, we must turn the dial to save the health, safety and the stability of the world, we – kind-hearted and determined Americans – made it happen. It’s not rhetoric, it’s a fact.

So, back to the heroes. I think it should be noted that while cult heroes are good for strengthening our individual, ethnic or national affinities in a pluralistic society, the real point is that we should all uplift those who uplift us all – regardless of race, sex or any other affiliation.

One more point, the proudest moments in this nation’s extraordinary history were not when we divided ourselves, choosing divisive heroes, but when we realized what held us tight and helped us to fight, and drank deeply of America’s genius.

No one compares to George Washington, or for that matter to Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe or Franklin in their day. No one has been compared to Lincoln for his wisdom, or the Wright brothers, TR, Lindbergh, Salk who ended polio or Einstein – all European Americans.

And no one compares to George Washington Carver, whose discoveries are used today, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, whose musical genius still fills the music halls, Percy Julian whose ideas produced cortisone and steroids, the mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Gladys West and Annie Easley who got us to the moon, astronauts Mae Jemison, Ron McNair and Robert Lawrence (who supposedly flew on Apollo but died), neurosurgeons like Alexa Canady and Ben Carson – all original Afro-American.

No one compares to Arab Americans like Elias Corey, a Lebanese Christian who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, heart surgeon and trailblazer Michael DeBakey who won the Congressional Gold Medal for saving life, the Nobel Egyptian-born chemist Ahmed Zewail, Lebanese-American geneticist Huda Zoghbi who changed our approach to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autism – all Arab-Americans.

Choose your nation, your region, your religion, your area of ​​success, your major area of ​​concern – and you will find Americans, drawn to the same beacon, our history-changing freedom. They gave it their all – because here it’s possible. They are worthy of being considered heroes by all of us.

So when the leaves fall, when the spirits rise and return to earth in November, when things seem better or worse in the moment, remember we’re all Americans, share something special, and that’s important no way our skin color, belief, extraction, distraction or affiliation.

If we believe in the greatness of this nation, we are – in the blink of an eye – one. In this unity we become strong. From this, true heroes are born in all areas of life, all disciplines, all sectors, all races, all sexes and all discriminators. What matters is that we understand what makes a hero, dedication to what matters, a full heart. This we can all admire. And note: America makes a lot of them.







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