September 24, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Heroes

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What makes a hero?

Before I attempt to answer that I must congratulate all the persons behind the Heroes Square event last Monday (23).

All the seating for the spectators was filled with many people standing. The weather was king despite the forecast of ‘60% chance of rain’. Indeed it did rain – twice – but not enough to fill a cup despite all the black umbrellas going up immediately on the VIP platform when the first drips were felt.

The wind gusts kept the temperature down and that was also a blessing under the tents.

Overhead television monitors were amply placed so everyone could see the live telecast from CITN/Cayman27.

We have a separate story posted here today (See top slider for images and story) and I am not going to repeat anything you can read there.

The Master of Ceremonies Kenneth Hydes, President of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, was excellent. He kept the audience informed as did Matt Brown with a little skit that delightfully entertained the crowd.

The uniformed groups from the children up to the adults was a delight to the eyes. School children in uniforms and watching them proudly wear them made me feel good inside.

I did overhear someone say no one here today was a real hero except the 14 year old who saved two adult women who were in distress in the sea. Everyone else were only doing their jobs.

The person who said that was right and wrong. You see we were honouring pioneers of tourism and if you go ‘beyond the norm’ or were at the start of it then I say you are a hero.

So what does the Oxford English Dictionary say about the word “Hero”? It defines it as “A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities: ‘a war hero’.

Hmm. That didn’t help me much.

The website seemed to me have the best answers:

“A hero can be a person that saves lives and stuff, but a hero can be anyone that does something they have fear of but are brave enough to still do something. Examples: Batman, Iron Man and all of them.” Certainly, this must be a fan of Marvel Comics.
Well, another answer highlights the heroic quality in every human being. “A hero is someone who can be looked up to for their actions. Bravery is usually the biggest trait of a hero. This person has usually overcome huge obstacles to survive or to rescue others. Heroes come in all sizes. Sick children, grown firefighters, doctors, missionaries, philanthropists are all examples of heroes.”
In a world where some people out there are still forced to keep secret their sexual preferences, they would love this: “I think a hero is someone who is open about everything, like being openly gay.”
Hollywood has been a champion in making heroes. Before 2008, few people outside the US knew about the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk. That changed after the 2008 movie “Milk”, starring Sean Penn, who won an Academy Award for the role.
In “Dolphin Tale” we learnt how kids could become heroes by saving a dolphin that was a victim in an accident and lost its tail.
“Big Miracle” brought us the true story of a two-week international effort to save three grey whales stranded under ice near Alaska in 1988.

Hollywood is not going to make a hero movie out of any of the persons we were honoring today.

It doesn’t matter. One of the persons who was honored was my wife Joan Evangeline Wilson. To me she is a true hero. She has to put up with me!

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