October 12th, 2004 - 1:00pm by Badger

As long as there have been people on the earth, there have been heroes to glorify. Webster's definition of a hero is: 1) A mythological or legendary figure of great strength or ability, 2) The chief male character in a literary or dramatic work, 3) A man admired for his achievements and qualities.

We have plenty of fictional heroes to fulfill that definition. Characters such as Hercules, Sinbad, and the like have inspired people to reach for the stars for thousands of years. Every era of human history has boasted real life heroes and heroine to immortally carry on the precepts handed down by these legendary magnates. The likes of Christopher Columbus, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, and Mother Teresa embody the virtues and deeds that the average person will strive to achieve for generations.

But what about the unsung heroes? Who recognizes the dauntless compassion of the doctor who tirelessly works to save the life of a trauma victim or dedicates his life to unlocking the cure for viral infections? Who applauds the selfless bravery of a police officer who places himself in mortal danger to talk down a criminal with a hostage or a soldier who braves fire to aid a wounded comrade? Why does no one see the courage and fortitude of the single mother who works her way through college as a seamstress while making prodigious grades and raising three turbulent boys?

These everyday anonymous heroes are the fabric that binds our country together and keeps our society from falling into degradation. And yet, they receive little or no praise for their valor. That stops now.

You, Mom, are my heroine. I cannot imagine the guts and self-sacrifice you showed to get us through those years after Dad left. Instead of rolling over and accepting the bad hand that life dealt you, you stood up and shouted, "NO, I will not accept this. I will not give up." You held us together as I tried my best to tear us apart. And not only did you keep us from sinking totally into poverty and despair, you made us thrive and succeed. It is completely unfathomable to me that after all that, you still had enough compassion and strength left to turn me into the polie; because you knew it would be the best thing for me - even though it must have ripped your heart out. I love you for that, and for all the other things that make you who you are. Even though society does not recognize your nobility - know that I always will.