When is the last time you read a story about American greatness? Been a while, no? We may not even realize it, but we are hungry for stories of courage, bravery, success, valor, honor, and outstanding citizenship. We need those stories right now. I believe there are many behind-the-scenes American hero stories that will emerge from the fall of Afghanistan. These stories won’t be splashed in the pages of social media or print news. They will be told in neighborhoods, gatherings, blogs, houses of worship, and by people who must remain anonymous for their safety. We must look for them to remind us of who we are as Americans.
Take, for example, the Marines who catch the babies thrown over the barbed wire fences at the Kabul airport. (Why would parents throw their children over barbed wire in the hopes of saving their little ones’ lives if we are such a bad country with a bereft history? The Marines are the few, the proud, and they prove it all the time. We don’t hear about it because they don’t brag about doing what needs to be done. They just do it, expecting no glory in return.
What about the airmen who are bringing in supplies for the tiny innocents being thrown or escaping to freedom? One minute they are doing dangerous maneuvers with pinpoint accuracy, like refueling American aircraft. The next minute they are picking up thousands of pounds of supplies to sustain life. These airmen do what they are told to do and go where they are sent to go. If you compliment them, they dismiss it. They are serving their country. Ego interferes with dangerous missions and mid-air maneuvers despite what you may have seen in Top Gun.
There are retired Special Forces personnel who have offered to go in and get the job done. They would go in a minute and not look back. That is who we are and what we are made of. It’s incredible.
There are reports of regular citizens sending money to organizations that help Americans escape the inevitable horror of being left behind. Since we don’t leave people behind, J.Q.Citizen hears about a group doing dangerous work and sends money to get the job done. And yes, there are citizens and allies taking care of business. Dangerous business. Why? Because courage rises to the top when least expected. There are causes greater than ourselves, like rescuing others. Knowing what to do and doing it regardless of risk is courage. Americans still have it. They answer the call.
Be listening for stories of unparalleled bravery and pass them on. Don’t retreat. When the terrible scenes begin to flood the daily news, seek out courageous stories and pass them on. We need encouragement to be who we are as a nation, to revive, and not give up. Or, as ancient wisdom declares, “to repair the years the locust has eaten.” (Joel 2:25)
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸