What makes a “hero?”

The author ponders whether she is one, and takes a hard look at these times It seems to me that since Sept. 11, and perhaps much prior to Sept. 11, perhaps since the beginning of time, we have used the term “hero” too lightly. When I worked for the American Red Cross in New York City after Sept. 11, the office gave me a child’s drawing that was meant to present to volunteers, such as myself. It says on it, “Dear Heroes.” This was the one they gave me, and so I accepted it in the right spirit, but I did say to them, “I am no hero.” They kept insisting that I was. I just happened to be proficient in mental health work, as I am a social worker and a psychoanalyst. I felt a desire to help the city that gave me my education The firefighters rushed in to save people in...

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