I have talked about the privileges that military personnel has in the US before, although I’d like to touch another part of this topic. During sporting events, there always seems to be an intervention where the camera on the screen focuses on somebody in uniform, while the stadium speaker announces the rank, previous missions and age of the man standing (or woman, but I haven’t seen that yet). Then the whole stadium gets up, cheers and gives the man a standing ovation.
It baffles me. I’ve got nothing against the military (I envy their benefits, but that’s besides the point here), but I feel the heroism is a little misplaced. Don’t get me wrong, I believe any army in the world can be a force that can do a lot of good, but there’s something weird about how America celebrates its defensive forces. Let’s face it: if you want to cheer to someone who has done a lot of good for your community, you wouldn’t immediately think of someone who did a lot of hard work establishing democracies in the Middle East, safeguarding innocent people abroad and kicking some bad guys’ asses that are mostly a threat to other countries. I’d think of doctors, teachers, firemen and the sort. Why not have the stadium speaker announce the following: ‘Ladies and gentleman, this year alone, doctor Bibber has saved the lives of twelve different kids. Please show your appreciation.’ I don’t want to question the hard work those men do, nor why they should do it, but why not shift among heroes? There must be more to choose from.
Who would you give a standing ovation to?