No More Heroes Thanks, We’re British.

15 06 2007

I have the answer to the question the Stranglers once posed in the song “No More Heroes”. Whatever Happened To All The Heroes? Well, they get banned from hotels, according to this story. How on Earth does a man honoured for his bravery not once, not twice, not three times, or even four, but five times, deserve to be treated in this way? This is a man who was the last man out of a collapsing burning tower of concrete that consumed the lives of over 3,000 people. Whatever your views on the aftermath, including the war in Iraq, none of that should take away from what people suffered on that day, or from the heroic efforts that were on display. We must never lose sight of that.

Quite frankly, I’m appalled, and the whole incident has got me wondering whether we in Britain have gotten so used to building people up only to bring them down (one need only look at the rise and fall of celebrities, sports stars etc) that when we’re faced with a real hero we don’t know how to act properly? We make people like David Beckham, Tim Henman and Andrew Flintoff into national heroes, and yet when we have a real hero we treat them so badly? And it’s not as if David Beckham or Tim Henman have even won any major sporting events! It seems like in today’s world we make “heroes” out of people that are anything but, and in doing so we risk making the word meaningless.

Taking a broader look at things, it all links back in with an anti-American sentiment that seems to be sweeping the country, as if simply because the war in Iraq is American-led, naturally anything remotely American must be pure evil. Even if you oppose the war (I don’t, and I’ve always made that clear, but this isn’t about that), not everything “American” should be tarred with the same brush. Anti-American or anti-war sentiment is the only possible reason I can see that someone might oppose such an event, and yet I don’t see how the War in Iraq in any way changes this man’s status as a hero. Even if he himself supports the war effort (and who knows, he may very well not), how is that any different from the anti-war rallies? Aren’t both sides entitled to equality?

Whatever the reason, the treatment of such a brave man makes me sick.


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