It is time we started honoring real heroes again.

What has happened to the world that they started honoring men as heroes where really at the end they failed and were a bad role model. On the other side the world has forgotten about the real heroes, the ones who selflessly sacrificed their lives for the betterment of the lives of strangers.

We need to start reversing the trend of celebrating failure and look up to the real heroes again.

I will be using 2 examples. One of an internationally known sports man and the other one of a man who died in a foreign land trying to liberate strangers from evil.

George Best.

 

The reason why I am taking him as an example is the last few days I have seen several video’s popping up to celebrate the ‘legend’ that is George Best.I think it is because this week 53 years ago he made his debut as a 17 year old at Manchester United

Don’t get me wrong I acknowledge he was a great sportsman and although I did not know him personally I am sure he was a nice man. but does this make him a hero? No!

He died an alcoholic, I am not accusing him for this, I sincerely feel sorry for him, having an addiction is a terrible thing. But here is the thing, he was given so many chances and opportunities in live,he was privileged. Yes he may have had a rough childhood, but there are billions like him.

He struggled with alcoholism most of his adult life and was convicted with drink driving several times.

Best was diagnosed with severe liver damage in March 2000.In 2001, he was admitted to hospital with pneumonia.In August 2002, he had a successful liver transplant at King’s College Hospital in London.

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The transplant was performed at public expense on the NHS, a decision which was controversial due to Best’s alcoholism. The controversy was reignited in 2003 when he was spotted openly drinking white wine spritzers.On 2 February 2004, Best was convicted of another drink-driving offence and banned from driving for 20 months.

Best continued to drink, and was sometimes seen at his local pub in Surbiton, London. On 3 October 2005, Best was admitted to intensive care at the private Cromwell Hospital in London, suffering from a kidney infection caused by the side effects of immuno-suppressive drugs used to prevent his body from rejecting his transplanted liver. On 27 October, newspapers stated that Best was close to death and had sent a farewell message to his loved ones. Close friends in the game visited his bedside to make their farewells, including Rodney Marsh, and the two other members of the “United Trinity”,Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. On 20 November, the British tabloid News of the World published a picture of Best (at his own request) showing him in his hospital bed with jaundice, along with a warning about the dangers of alcohol with his message: “Don’t die like me.

This is what bugs me. He was convicted for drinking-driving several times, when he was getting behind the wheel drunk, he could have easily killed one or more people. Then he was given another chance, a new lease of life ,by getting a new liver and he squandered it.I am sure there were many other people waiting for a new liver but did not get it because they weren’t famous. I am sure someone else died because they did not get a new liver. This means that George Best did not only kill himself but also denied someone else the chance of a new lease of life. But yet he is seen as a Hero only because his skills as a footballer and his status as a celebrity, but not for any heroic actions. I am not blaming him for this but the media.

Mercer G. Abernathy.

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On the other hand we have 2nd Lieutenant Mercer G Abernathy. I know nothing of this man except for his Army records and a page of his high school year book.

Service # O2009170
Rank Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Unit 548th Bomber Squadron, 385th Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered Service From Texas
Date of Death April 4, 1945

He doesn’t even have a grave because he died in Germany or the Netheralands  missing In Action as navigator on a B17 Flying Fortress.

All that he is remembered by is his name on a US roster of the dead WWII.

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And a memorial marker in the Netherlands American War Cemetery in Margraten near Maastricht in the Netherlands.

He died in a foreign land trying to liberate strangers from evil.He was not the only one. Over the years and especially the last century during both world wars millions died, fighting for the liberties we now take for granted.Yet most of these heroes are forgotten, no websites dedicated to them, no books full of information of their lives, no documentaries,no special sporting events, no airports called after them. Only a simple white cross or star of David or a simple memorial marker in a cemetery far away, like the Netherlands American War Cemetery in Margraten. where 8,301 heroes are buried.

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And even today there are still men and women dying to safeguard or rights and liberties.Those are the real heroes and not the privileged celebrities that are put on pedestals. It is time that we started honouring the real heroes again. We owe it to them.

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