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"A Real Hero" - by Rev. Weldon Bares

A real hero usually doesn’t tell you that he is a hero. You just know it.

Case in point. When I was the pastor of a church in Monroe for ten years, I was a member of the Downtown Monroe Lions Club. We would gather for a nice meal and program each Tuesday at noon.

I usually sat at a table with an older gentleman named Joe. I would often notice during the Pledge of Allegiance that Joe would stand at extra-attention. He would sometimes have tears in his eyes.

Over a period of time, I found out that Joe was a United States Marine. He was a part of the invasion at Iwo Jima in the first wave of the invading force on February 19, 1945. Combat deaths for the American forces and the Imperial Japanese Army were immense. The battle lasted for five weeks. It had some of the bloodiest and most fierce fighting of the war in the Pacific.

I never heard Joe talk about it, except the one time that I simply said to him, “Thank you for your service in the war.” Even then, he didn’t have much to say about it. But the way that he said the Pledge of Allegiance spoke volumes to me.

Somebody who is a real hero doesn’t have to tell you that he is a hero. You just know it.

I am so thankful today for all of those who put their lives on the line and defend our freedom.

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