The term ‘hero’ ought not to be bandied about as it currently is…

William Manchester

William Manchester

“Heroism is often confused with physical courage.  In fact the two are very different.  There was nothing heroic about [Ferdinand] Magellan’s death.  He went into that last darkness a seasoned campaigner, accompanied by his own men, and he was completely fearless because as he drew his last breath he believed ─ he knew ─ that paradise was imminent.  Similarly, the soldier who throws himself on a live grenade, surrendering his life to save his comrades, may be awarded the medal of honor.  Nevertheless his deed, being impulsive, is actually unheroic.  Such acts, no more reflective than the swift withdrawal of a blistered hand from a red-hot stove, are involuntary.  Heroism is the exact opposite ─always deliberate, never mindless.” ― A World Lit Only by Fire, The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance, Copyright © 1992 by William Manchester, Little Brown, Page 287.

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Author, Goodbye Darkness, A Memoir of the Pacific War.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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