09/16/11 — A real hero: Marine's story is one everyone needs to hear ... and remember

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A real hero: Marine's story is one everyone needs to hear ... and remember

True heroes don't speak about their heroism.

It is mostly because it is not those they saved whom they remember, but the ones they could not get to in time to bring back to their families.

And that's why Dakota Meyer insisted that at the same time he was receiving his Medal of Honor, memorial services were held for the four friends who did not make it back home.

This unwilling hero wanted to make sure that those whose lives were lost fighting for this country were the ones who shared the spotlight.

Meyer, a Marine, did not want to accept the medal -- or even to leave his job to take the phone call from the president announcing that he would be added to the list of heroes. After all, it would not be right, he said, to take a call when he was supposed to be working.

That is a young man of principle as well as courage.

We can read the details of his story and wonder at the bravery of a young man who defied orders and made multiple trips into enemy fire to save American and Afghan soldiers and to bring his buddies' bodies home to their families.

But many of us will never really know what it took to make such a sacrifice.

Meyer is a hero and an example of why Americans should rest easy knowing young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are on the job all over the world.

And that, not just one Marine's story, is what Meyer would want us to remember.

Published in Editorials on September 16, 2011 10:36 AM