Return of the hero
“We live in an era where we knock down old American heroes for all their imperfections, when no leader wants to admit to fault or failure,” said Meghan McCain in her eulogy for her father, John McCain. “You were an exception and gave us an ideal to strive for.”
“Heartened by the outpouring of appreciation” for McCain, Mike Petrilli proposes “teaching little kids about American heroes again.”
The complexity and cynicism can come later. But when boys and girls are five or six or seven, let’s introduce them to inspirational role models, people whose lives embodied service, gratitude, and excellence. This list of fifty heroes is good start; John McCain should make it fifty-one.
I see many attempts to debunk the rosy, uplifting, “America the Beautiful” vision of our history. Do students get to learn about heroes, too? OK, there’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Who else?
First Man, a documentary about Neil Armstrong, doesn’t show him planting the U.S. flag on the moon. Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, isn’t happy about that.