This past weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Chris Hayes on MSNBC said this:
“Why do I feel so uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’?” Hayes said. “I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.”
He rightly has received a ton of criticism for his comments about those who have lost their lives in defense of our nation.
The other day I was watching a segment from the movie The Longest Day, which is, perhaps, the definitely movie on the D-Day invasion. There were numerous soldiers that, day, like most days in most wars, who lost their lives in the midst of combat. Others, however, were blown up in airplanes before jumping out for action or who lost their lives on landing craft or in the water, before actually ever firing their gone. There were others who lost their lives in the middle of doing amazing things. They are all buried together and they are all heroes. They all lost their lives serving their country. We honored all of them on Memorial Day weekend. They were there. They showed up and the details of how they died are much less important than the plain and simple fact they died serving their nation. And us.
Often, at least to me, the honoring of those who have died in the service of our nation is right and good. I struggle with Caesar limelight of the day, however. I struggle A LOT with many of them. Politicians are the people who send people to war and, sadly, are often the first to take the credit for being heroes themselves for sending people to war. The heroes were the ones on the battlefields putting themselves as risk.
Over the centuries many people in the role of ‘Caesar,’ send folks off to war in an attempt to further the agenda of Caesar. How many young lives have been lost attempting to gain more living space for Caesar, or defending one’s own living space because some other nation’s ‘Caesar’ wanted your land. I’d like to say that never has an American President in the role of Caesar sent people to war for assistance in the polls, but I daresay, that would be untrue. War is often great for politics. It is, however, brutal because so many heroes lose their lives.
Chris Hayes greatly misspoke. Greatly. Those who have lost their lives in defense of our nation were, are, and will always be heroes. Caesar, however, is a different story.