“I think it’s interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words “heroes.” Why do I feel so [uncomfortable] about the word “hero?” I feel comfortable – uncomfortable – about the word 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: 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.”
– MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, on May 27, after speaking with a former Marine whose job it was to notify families of the death of soldiers.
Hayes eventually apologized for making such a crass statement the day before Memorial Day. And not a moment too soon! I don’t care how anyone feels. The word “hero” applies to a lot of people: firefighters, teachers, paramedics, police officers – and certainly our military personnel. The term definitely doesn’t apply to sports and entertainment celebrities, which I’m sure will piss off the NFL and fans of “The Hunger Games.” But, as always, I don’t care who I piss off with my opinions.