We Americans know that this country is full of heroes. It's the one thing that has made our country rise above all others over our history, the one man/woman acting for the good of the country instead out of self-preservation, for standing up and doing the right thing, and for being stalwart and brave in the aftermath that follows such actions.
I remember a veteran prosecutor telling me many years ago, when discussing equity and fairness and how it figured in to many of the borderline situations that a serious felony criminal prosecutor deals with on a daily basis. He said doing the right thing is easy, it's figuring out what the right thing to do is that sometimes takes some time to make the right decision. And after years of being a prosecutor, I agree. Doing the right thing, dismissing a case or going forward with a case in the face of critical assaults by the media and their ilk, is easy. It's the weeks of pacing leading up to the decision that are not always so palatable at the time.
We have heroes of all kinds in this land. The men and women who keep our country and families going in the many millions of various ways like utilities and various service occupations. The citizen who jumps into a dangerous situation to save another's life. The police, the armed forces, the fireman and EMS, the emergency room folks and so many others like them. They work past the point of being tired to keep our land a safe place for us and our families.
Sometimes, their contributions make the media, but often times they do not. The officers and firemen I know who cover the shifts of their co-worker who is immersed in a medical emergency, or who take care of the surviving members of the family of a co-worker lost in the line of duty, they often don't make the news. Yet they are heroes whose collective spirit rises above the problems and looks for ways to make it better.
This week, we heard of the anonymous members of Seal Team 6, who are thought to be the special forces team that took out our longtime nemesis Usama Bin Laden, hereafter USB. USB went out like a candle in the wind, not like the lion he was portrayed to be. Yet in the morass of politics and media posturing, (if you recall our President's comments last week about how releasing his birth certificate somehow detracted from more important matters at hand, which we now know were the final decisions on this raid), Seal Team 6 did what needed to be done. And they didn't lose a member doing this grand job.
Of all the heroes of this nation, and again, there are many, and for all the heroes who have died in the fights against terrorism the past several decades, I wish we could have a parade to salute the brave members of Seal Team 6. But we can't. Their identities must remain secret for them to do their jobs, and still, just doing what they do places their lives and those of their families in mortal danger. These operatives and their families give up much of the freedoms that their valiance provides to you and I. They live, as far as I know, in somewhat cloistered communities, and cannot talk about what they know about the world and about the work of Seal Team 6.
They can't brag about what they did last week to save the world, and we the normal citizens usually have no idea of the sometimes earthshaking events that groups like Seal Team 6 alter before they become horrific tragedies. We live in peaceful and ignorant bliss of the actions both here in America by law enforcement and overseas by military and intelligence units that prevent more attacks on us and our way of life. Sometimes, we find out about these events after the fact, sometimes never, but just because a tree fell in the forest and was not heard doesn't mean the tree didn't fall.
And so I hope that each reader here has a parade for these heroes in their own hearts today. When you see a service member, or a police or fire or ems officer or the like, thank them for their service. Those particular professions whose members get injured in violent acts that are unavoidable to them occupationally deserve special thoughts and considerations as citizens and heroes. Whether it's taking a bullet or having a building collapse on you or flying thousands of miles to rappel from a chopper into a firefight to kill the most famous terrorist ever, these heroes do these deeds and give not a thought to themselves.
Our politicians like to put themselves in this hero catagory, but to me one mark of a hero is that they are not doing it for money. Our politicians, who really should put their money where their mouths are, our Congress and our elected officials do it for the money. And the retirement.
But our soldiers and police and fire/ems persons do it for so far less money, and with the real threat of death or permanant debilitating injury from being "on the line" of democracy, and I submit that the folks who actually do the action work and the heavy lifting are the real heroes.
There has been the inevitable media squawking about how the White House versions of USB's death have changed, of how he didn't have a gun in his hand, or how so many things about this raid don't please their little liberal hearts. Like the late Ricky Nelson said so many years ago in his song "Garden Party", "You can't please everyone, so you've, got to please yourself".
To quote from a recent movie I saw, it is highly inspiring to be around a group of people who are dedicated to something much more grand than themselves, i.e., their country.
God bless Seal Team 6, and God Bless America.