How can we thank our heroes? How can we thank those who selflessly give their all to help others? Perhaps we can start by teaching our children what Super Heroes really are.
Super Heroes don’t wear fancy costumes and capes. They often have dirty faces. Their costumes are heavy, damp, ill fitting uniforms and work clothes. Their fingers are raw from digging through rubble with their bare hands. Their eyes burn and water from the ash, dust and sorrow. They don’t use laser guns or fancy weapons. The tools they use are torches, crowbars and hoses. They don’t drive cars that fly. They operate machines so powerful that they move the earth, twisted metal and rubble. They make the impossible seem possible, because failure is not an option.
We can thank our Super Heroes by making our children understand that heroes aren’t measured by the strength or size of their muscles, but by the size of their hearts. Hearts that gain nourishment from knowing that in some small way, they can make a difference. They are driven by the thought that they may possibly reunite a small child with a parent or reunite a spouse or other loved one when hope is all that is left. Even in the face of the worst, they continue to give the unfortunate some closure to try and rebuild a future.
Perhaps we can thank our Super Heroes by letting them know that in the wake of this terrible tragedy, they are a true example of America’s Bravest, Finest and Best. They are the embodiment of what it means to be an American and what we must preserve, protect and defend. They lead us by example as they dig out of the rubble toward a difficult new beginning.
Tonight I am going to tell my son a different bedtime story about Super Heroes. I am going to tell him about real heroes that wear red helmets, blue shirts and hard hats. Super Heroes that have huge hearts that give them super strength, energy and determination. Heroes that absolutely stand for “Truth, Justice and the American Way”.
At the end of my story, I offer the thanks of a grateful nation to the Super Heroes that constantly remind us of what our flag means. I also offer my hope that someday our children will grow up to be Super Heroes by your example.