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View Diary: "They Did Not Die in Vain... Much" (28 comments)

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  •  Totally Agree (15+ / 0-)

    Since September 9, 2001, there has been a diminution in the vocabulary of high praise.

    The phrase that is the subject of your diary is true about some fatal outcomes but seems, these days, to be applied to all.  It's appropriate for soldiers who died in the World Wars and American Civil War, for instance; perhaps it can also be true for organ donors who are victims of sudden death, but then only personally to the recipient of said organ(s).

    But the latter is nowhere near the intent behind the phrase.  We must go back to acknowledging that dying as a result of participating in a great effort to make right out of wrong should not be equated with dying by accident with no underlying motivating cause.  Yes, honor the former with "They did not die in vain."  But not the latter.

    Similarly, the application of the word "hero" to every person who dies doing his job undermines the import of heroism -- overcoming fear to perform bravely beyond expectation and, with luck, accomplish what no ordinary person could.  I'm sorry, dying in the course of events, or while performing one's everyday job description does not make one a hero.  It makes the person a victim.

    Otherwise, all the passengers on the planes that were driven into buildings on 9/11 would be heroes; all the thousands who died that day in the collapse of the Twin Towers would be, too.  How then to distinguish them from the few courageous individual souls who attempted to overcome their hijackers but ended up smashed into a Pennsylvania field?

    Words become devalued when misapplied.  And that's a shame.

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    by Limelite on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 05:52:21 AM PDT

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