Heroes and courage

by Jim Young, LDHH-H Volunteer

veterans-day-courage-posterWhat defines a hero?  Well, the dictionary defines a hero as a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model, someone ideal.

Throughout history, we have seen this model or ideal role in our nations bravest — those who risk it all on the battlefields of war.  What inspires so many of our young men and women to sacrifice themselves, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “at the altar of freedom”?  Where does one find the courage from within to face death without fear or restraint?  What truly does compel someone to leap beyond that point of no return?  These were some of the questions I asked myself as a kid in history classes, learning about what was done for my personal freedom — lessons that inspired me to join our nation’s military.  In serving, I learned how courage is a self-disciplined approach to events that can unfold in a moment’s notice.  Decisions are made quickly, and decisively, and commitment is made fully to these choices by honorable actions that cannot be retreated or withdrawn.

It is my hope that all who appreciate their freedom are truly thankful and pay genuine respect and honor to those who gave their lives to protect it.  The act of giving one’s life for what you truly believe in surely defines what a hero is all about.  But the act of heroism goes further than that.

In the world of hospice, heroic acts are often common.  Patients face an unwinnable war with death with courage, honor, dignity, even humility, and humbleness.  But they are heroes because they accept their fate and approach their end with calm, setting aside their own fears out of respect for their loved ones’ concerns.

Nurses and doctors perform heroic acts of commitment, vigilance, and unity, bonding a personal and professional outlook to a tragic event unfolding in front of them, sometimes more rapidly than what they expect or are ready for.  They too accept the fact that death will eventually win, but they still compassionately preserve the quality of life until the last breath.

Hospice staff and volunteers are heroes, helping the patients and their families walk towards death, giving them reassurance that they will not face it alone, that they will be beside them through this difficult time, and even afterward.

Heroes are the caregivers, family, and friends who accept their loved one’s fate, letting go of hope and sacrificing their own selfish needs so that the pain and hurt everyone is enduring can finally be replaced with peace.

I am proud to walk among so many heroes, and I pay honor to the ones who have given the sacrifice of life, hope, and even love in the name of peace.

Explore posts in the same categories: advocacy, awareness, end of life, hospice, volunteering

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2 Comments on “Heroes and courage”

  1. David Bayer Says:

    Great Article … thanks.

  2. Sheri Lowe Says:

    Beautiful….Could not agree more. Thanks.

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