Taking a Second…

It’s 4:40 Wednesday afternoon in one of the busiest metro train stations in Washington, DC. I am trying my hardest to get off one train, run up the escalators (which happen to be broken) and down another set to get to the platform before my train gets there.  As I make my way out of the crowd, two U.S. Army Soldiers get off in front of me. With everyone else, they are trying to work their way through the madness of the station to get home. Right before we begin our walk up the escalators, a young man walks by and stops. He turns around and holds out his hand to one of the Soldiers. Not understanding what is going on, the Soldier stops and tries to make his way back down. He reaches the young man with a look of concern. The young man stretches out his arm again and says, “Thank you, Sir, for you service” and walks away.

After watching President Obama award the Medal of Honor to SSG Salvatore Giunta the day before, I was clearly still a little emotional. But I think it is important for us as a country to take a second to recognize the true Heroes of our time. Whether they are a then 22-year-old Specialist that risked his life to pull his injured squad leader to safety and then go back into the line-of-fire to retrieve another Soldier from insurgents or the Soldier merely walking to his train-we need to show homage to these men and women for what he/she has endured for us to sleep at night.

Following Twitter the day of the White House Medal of Honor Ceremony, the trending (or most talked about) topics were #royalwedding, #princewilliam and #michaelvick. It was roughly mid-late morning before #giunta became a trending topic (and this was in Washington, DC). While marriages are wonderful and I am an avid football fan; the fact that major news outlet blocked off more minutes to talk about an engagement ring, rather than SSG Giunta’s selfless acts of courage makes me cringe.

Being awarded the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force in the land is unimaginable as it is, but to have the privilege to witness the first living recipient since 1976 receive his own award is definitely newsworthy from my point-of-view.

Take a second to think about these words:

Hero. Valor.

While they are mere letters combined to describe the members of our armed services that risk their lives for us to enjoy the freedoms that we so often take for granted, we should strive to use them more. We should work harder to acknowledge this fact and display our gratitude to those that VOLUNTEER to serve.

Thank you, young man in the metro station for slowing down just a second to show your appreciation.

Share with us how do you define the words “Hero” and “Valor?”