Sometime, I know I may sound like I have a “Pollyanna-ish” view of the people who stand in the gap for us. I have been know to call them “heroes”. I have often talked about the sacrifices they make and their bravery. However, using those terms does not mean that I look at everyone of them through some sort of rose-colored glasses. I realize that they are human; while there are many of them who are serving with altruistic motives (i.e., serving the community, protecting the country, fighting evil), there are also those who have chosen to serve because of the career opportunities, status in the community, or maybe they’re just “adrenaline junkies” waiting for their next “high”.

However, that being said, what makes a person “heroic?” I believe it is their actions. Getting up every morning and doing their jobs whether they feel like it or not. (that must make me heroic on most days). The difference between them and us is this: every day many of the men and women of our miltary, firefighters and law enforcement wake up and face the day knowing there is a possibility their lives may be put on the line. They get up and do their jobs anyway. In truth, none of us knows if we will live out the day, but we don’t get up and deliberately volunteer to walk into danger.

It’s not who you are on the inside, but what you do that makes you a hero.

It’s doing it when you’re not in the mood, feeling ill, scared to death.

It’s making the decision to walk into the World Trade Center knowing there’s a good chance you won’t make it out.

It’s responding to an emergency call that someone has a weapon and not knowing how it’s going to play out.

It’s getting up every morning, putting on your uniform, picking up your backpack and weapons and heading out to face the enemy in seemingly never ending battles.

It’s the decision to do it anyway that makes you a hero.

I have to ask myself if I have what it takes to be heroic? I hope I never have to find out.

Today, I salute and honor all of our heroes. May God go before you and behind you.

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