The date is August 1914. The British Expeditionary Force is in France and You're in the Royal Field Artillery. You're riding alongside one of the battery's gun limbers on its way to the assigned position on the east side of Mons, Belgium. This begins your journey into the Hell they called World War One. To purchase this historical memoir go to https://createspace.com/3649268
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Heroism - Man or Opportunity
While writing The Great Promise the thought came to me, "Does heroism come from the person, or is it the result of the opportunity presented?" Deliberating I've concluded that it is both opportunity and the person. It is the person's response in the critical moment that defines heroism.
However, recognition for a heroic deed is dependent upon a multitude of factors; such as witnesses that substantiate the act and the magnitude of it.
I pondered this while reading some of grandfather's journal entries, such as:
The shells were falling like rain with such horrific force that
they caused all the Gordons to run for it. The shelling was so
murderous that I also felt like running. However, I realized
that if I left my instrument that our guns would not be able to
return fire. I stuck while the Gordons ran, all except Bruce. He
asked me if I was going to stay and I said yes. He replied, “If
it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me.”
To remain in position under those circumstances was a heroic act that required risking his life while performing his duty. I suppose that his act wasn't considered beyond the call of duty, even though its elements were of heroic proportions.
Recognition of heroism is different from the action itself since it requires criteria that is judgement based. Appreciation of one's actions is rewarding it doesn't alter the act itself, it is more for the benefit of others than the perpetrator.
I salute all the everyday heroes. Those who's response places their lives in question for the prospect of saving another.