Web­ster pro­vides many def­i­ni­tions for the word ‘ Hero’

Pri­mary def­i­ni­tions is “a man noted for coura­geous acts or no­bil­ity of pur­pose, es­pe­cially one who has risked or sac­ri­ficed his life.”

The Hamburg Area Item - - Local News - By Jeff Hall Colum­nist

The in­tel­lec­tual Mr. Web­ster pro­vides many def­i­ni­tions for the word “Hero”, in­clud­ing: “a large sand­wich con­sist­ing of a long, split roll, hav­ing a va­ri­ety of fill­ings [ such] as meats, cheeses, let­tuce, toma­toes and onions.” How­ever, that def­i­ni­tion does not meet the stan­dard for this column.

One of the pri­mary def­i­ni­tions is “a man noted for coura­geous acts or no­bil­ity of pur­pose, es­pe­cially one who has risked or sac­ri­ficed his life.” A hero could be one of many peo­ple, ei­ther male or fe­male. It could be a great mil­i­tary per­son like Gen­eral Dou­glas MacArthur, a five star Gen­eral dur­ing World War II, who played a prom­i­nent role in the Pa­cific theater. Of course, that def­i­ni­tion fits all of our mil­i­tary men and women who put their lives on the line for us each day. Other types of he­roes could be: fire fight­ers in your home­town ( or those bat­tling for­est fires across the na­tion); po­lice of­fi­cers; doc­tors, nurses or medics who save lives un­der ad­verse con­di­tions and civil­ians who hap­pen upon a ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent and free a driver/ pas­sen­ger from a burn­ing car.

I would like to “stretch” the above def­i­ni­tion of a hero to in­clude who­ever is thought of as a hero in a per­son’s mind. A young boy who loves base­ball may con­sider a great home run hit­ter like Hank Aaron or a su­perb pitcher like Sandy Ko­ufax a hero. A great sur­geon like Dr. Chris­tian Barnard, who per­formed the first heart trans­plant on Lewis Washkan­sky in 1967, would be con­sid­ered a hero, es­pe­cially by Mr. Washkan­sky and on av­er­age the 2,000 re­cip­i­ents of a new heart each year through 2011.

To me, an an­i­mal can be con­sid­ered a hero when look­ing at two sto­ries that were in the news dur­ing the past week. A dog woke his owner up dur­ing the night when his house was on fire. Both owner and dog es­caped the fire. The other story that re­cently was on the In­ter­net hap­pened in Rus­sia in 2015. A cat named Masha heard a baby, no more than 12 weeks old, cry­ing in a box out­side in cold weather. The cat got into the box to keep the baby warm and cried un­til its owner came to see what all of the fuss was about. The baby was aban­doned and be­cause of Masha, survived in good con­di­tion.

I per­son­ally have seen two peo­ple over the past months whom I would clas­si­fied as he­roes. I re­ally would like to have sat down with them and got­ten more in­for­ma­tion on their sto­ries to pass on to you but I re­sisted get­ting too per­sonal with them.

I fre­quently am at a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity be­cause Barb and I have friends there. Also, I go there to pick- up meals made there to de­liver them for Meals on Wheels. One day I ex­ited one of the build­ings. The first peo­ple I saw were an el­derly lady in a wheelchair with her head bowed for­ward. Kneel­ing be­side her on the side­walk, so his eyes could meet his mother’s, was her son talk­ing with her and stroking her arm. The scene would have been per­fect for a photo or paint­ing ( pos­si­bly Nor­man Rock­well). You could tell at a glance that the son had a deep love for his mother and cer­tainly ex­em­pli­fied that por­tion of the Ten Com­mand­ments that says, “Honor your mother.” I was so struck by this pic­ture, that I stopped and talked with the man whom I guessed was in his 40’ s or 50’ s to tell him I ap­pre-

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