Bruce Deitrick Price
Fourth of July: How do we thank our heroes?
By Bruce Deitrick Price
July 2, 2017

How do we thank our heroes, the ones who worked hard all their lives and built this country, who sacrificed for a better future, who battled against enemies foreign and domestic, the ones who died bravely around the world?

There are hundreds of thousands of people, now buried in military cemeteries, who gave the last full measure of devotion, as Lincoln put it. How do we genuinely thank them?

What sort of thanks would mean anything when they gave so much? What do we give? How do we thank our heroes? It's important that we continue to ask this question.

Throughout history, the younger generation studied heroes, noble deeds, extraordinary achievements. The young learn what is possible, and that life can be full of accomplishments and even greatness.

There is one thing we certainly wouldn't do. We would not treat our heroes with disrespect. We would not deliberately let their memories fade.

We wouldn't let their history, and history in general, disappear from education. We would make sure that heroic stories are told year after year. We wouldn't let the heroes who have battled against totalitarian aggression, in any of its forms, be slighted in our schools.

Most crucially, we wouldn't let the very idea of the hero vanish. We would never stop talking, for example, about the great patriots who said, "I know not what course others may take but as for me give me liberty or give me death" (Patrick Henry) or "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" (Nathan Hale). What extraordinary sentiments. We would make sure that children in schools always hear them.

We should not allow the bureaucrats running our schools to be hostile to heroes and brave deeds. There is often a prejudice, almost a blanket prohibition, against history, especially American history. In particular, there seems to be a special animus against speaking of great deeds. Letting such anti-heroic bias take over the schools is blasphemy for sure.

We must absolutely not let education officials remove history from the schools. In time, citizens won't know the names of heroes, they won't know the places where they became heroes, they won't know what actions they performed.

In time, our students will not even be able to spell the word hero. All they will know is that "hero" is a kind of sandwich and that's it.


When the Founding Fathers pledged their lives and sacred honor, these were was not glib phrases in a Hollywood movie. The signers were considered traitors by the British, and many of them suffered grievously.

One site put it this way: "Five Southern delegates were captured by the British, arrested as traitors and brutally tortured. Twelve had their homes ransacked, looted, burned and other property destroyed. Nine fought and died from either wounds or hardships suffered during the war. One returned home to find his wife had died and his 13 children vanished."

I won't pretend to know all the facts. Still, I find it comically revealing that Snopes, which always pretends to know all the facts, produced a long article trying to discredit this account. Clearly, America's heroes are a threat to the Left! That's all the confirmation you need to know that we must always Thank Our Heroes.

© Bruce Deitrick Price


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Bruce Deitrick Price

Bruce Deitrick Price is the author of six books, an artist, a poet, and an education reformer. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia, earned Honors in English Literature from Princeton, served two years in the Army, and then lived many years in Manhattan.

Price explains educational theories and methods on his ed site (founded in 2005). He has 400 education articles and videos on the Internet. More forcefully than most, Price argues that the public schools are mediocre because our Education Establishment wants them that way.

Price's literary site is .


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