hen The Express community newspaper recently published and posted online at www.lockhaven.com a story previewing this Saturday’s (Aug. 28) Hometown Hero Banner Program ceremony, a person reacted with an online comment — a lecture, if you will – as follows: “HEROES of what? Hero is a word of distinction, not to be given-out in wholesale fashion.”

He’s right.

And so we note:

A man who died when his boat was hit by a German mine as his Army battalion was landing on the shores of Anzio in World War II to drive the Germans out.

A humble man who drove tank under U.S. Army Gen. George Patton and participated in the Battle of the Bulge.

A fire policeman who died in an accident while directing traffic around a crash scene.

A corrections office-deputy sheriff-new father who was beloved but died suddenly at a young age.

A mother and Emergency Medical Technician who died of COVID after supporting her hospital for many years.

Men and women who took care of soldiers … or crash victims … or COVID patients.

There are many.

And THEY are the people whose faces have graced the streets and Riverwalk of Lock Haven because of the Hometown Hero Banner Program since 2008.

“Hero” is defined as, “A person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character,” and, “A person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model.”

In other words, you don’t have to be injured or die for others to be a hero. We certainly are NOT belittling those types of sacrifice.

Some heroes are everyday people.

Some heros are noted for just one act.

Some heroes die for others and in defense of a cause.

Sacrifice and service to others are the hallmark of a hero, in our opinion.

No, we don’t take the word ‘hero’ lightly.

But in a world that constantly and increasingly tries to tear people down — to exploit people for their weaknesses or mistakes so others can be entertained — we reject any arbitrary criticism of efforts to lift people up, to bring them recognition for their service, their work and their character.

We need MORE of that.

(Publisher’s Note: Please take a look at the Hometown Hero Banner Program inside today’s Express and consider attending the tribute this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the Doyle Corman Amphitheatre at Water and Jay streets downtown.)


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