When we were little boys , my cousin Eddy Madden and I would imitate our TV heroes. Yesterday, my fellow hero passed away after a long battle with cancer. Ed loved God, his country and his friends, but most of all he loved his family. This country is now missing another hero and this old gunslinger will miss him dearly. I republish the following in his honor, because I know he felt the same. We Used to Have Heroes
We used to have heroes; they rode horses, wore white hats, fought for what they believed was right, looked out for their neighbors, and ran the bad guys out of town. I wanted to be like them.
When I was six, I was the Lone Ranger, and at the same time Superman; ever ready to stand against anyone or anything that dared to come against truth, justice, and the American way. When I was eight, I was Paladin–Have Gun Will Travel; a black hat this time, and more rugged, but a hero still, who righted wrongs and would go anywhere to correct injustice and defend the defenseless. When I was ten, I was John Wayne. I learned to walk like him, tried to make my voice deep like his, and hoped I’d grow to be tall, broad shouldered and brave. But mostly, I wanted to be a good man, a superb man, a combination of all of those heroes who cared little for themselves, but lived for what they could do for others.
Yes, it was just television and all my heroes were make-believe, but they made me believe and they taught me about right and wrong, and so many things. Where have all the heroes gone? Who do we turn to now? What is truth, or justice? And, what is the American way? My heroes stood proud and tall, hands on their hips, ready to fight for a way of life and a country they loved, even though that country was flawed in so many ways.
I love my country. But it is a love like one has for a dying loved one, and I watch her now, slumbering in drugged apathy, gurgling immorality, indecency, and corruption like a death rattle in cancer-ridden lungs. I ache within, realizing even should she survive, a mere shadowy skeleton of what she once was is all that will remain.
I think back on those days of yesteryear; days when this country stood strong and proud And I see her slowly succumbing to darkness with no heroes to swoop to her rescue. I stare at the floor… and silently, I weep.
Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn