What Makes a Hero? Part 1 or 2

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer, because my wife was on the panel that discussed this topic in Washington D.C. during the Daily Beast’s 2nd annual Hero Summit held on October 10, 2013. I also have an opinion on what makes a hero and will share my thinking in the conclusion of this post that will appear November 12, 2013.

This closing discussion of the Daily Beasts 2nd annual Hero Summit examined many aspects of courage—physical, moral, political, even intellectual. Note: I suggest you click on the previous link, scroll down and read the comments.

The panelists included General John Allen, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.). Allen quoted Lord Moran from memory: “If you know a man of character in peace, you will know a man of courage in war.” Heroism is about those people who are “willing to sacrifice everything, everything for the principles they hold most dear,” said Allen.

Allen clearly was thinking of the men and women—his soldiers—still in the field. “Less than one percent of the population is involved in the defense of this nation,” said Allen. They fight, they risk their lives every day and often in corners of the world that the rest of the United States has forgotten.

“We fail to talk about the routine heroism,” said Allen. Those soldiers—that professional military—is made up of people “who truly are keeping the wolf from the door.”

The second panelist was David Brooks, a New York Times columnist. Brooks talked about “the heroism of everyday life,” and especially the need to confront oneself, to battle against your own sin and weakness.

The third panelist was Anchee Min, my wife.  “The home front is the real battle,” said the author of The Cooked Seed  and Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Courage, in her life, included standing up to her very American daughter, enlisting her when she was young in the work of survival—buying her tools and a book about plumbing on her birthday—and driving her to earn good grades.

The fourth panelist was Wole Soyinka—Professor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria—who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He spoke of his admiration of all those young people, especially those young women, who are fighting for an education against horrendous odds in places like Nigeria, Somalia, Mali and elsewhere.

The moderator of the panel was Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor of The Washington Post; author of Little America: The War Within The War For Afghanistan

Continued on November 12, 2013 in What Makes a Hero? Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Advertisements

Semper Fi and Popcorn

Semper Fi is Latin for “always faithful” and it is the motto of the United States Marine Corps— faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps. The Urban Dictionary says it wasn’t always this way. Up until 1871, the motto was “First to fight”—a motto that still applies.

Every U.S. Marine knows that Semper Fi is the universal Marine greeting.

Recently I had a reason to explain this motto to my wife when she asked me if I wanted her to share something from me to General John R. Allen when she attended The Daily Beast’s Hero Summit on October 10—my wife was invited to be on the same panel at the summit with General Allen; David Brooks, the columnist for the New York Times who has written so often about moral standards and imperatives, and Nigerian novelist and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.

I said to my wife, “Say two words to General Allen, Semper Fi.”

“What does that mean?” she asked. “What if he doesn’t know what it means?”

“It’s Latin for always faithful,” I replied. “And trust me, General Allen will know what those two words means. If you look at the Marine Corps emblem, you will see it on a flag flying above the American Eagle.”

As for popcorn, I couldn’t resist adding popcorn to this post because right before I sat down to write, my wife made some in the microwave and then went to see a movie at the local theater. I stayed to write this post.

The smell of fresh-popped corn filled the house and I couldn’t resist filling my own bowl with this American treat. Believe me when I say that popcorn is as American as the flag, mom and apple pie, because the History of Popcorn clearly establishes that it originated in the Americas. And the popularity of popcorn as we eat it today started in Iowa in the 1880s.

I made my bowl with two scoops of Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn poured in a lunch-sized paper bag; two minutes on high in the microwave; a dash of California Branch Garlic Oil made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil; a second dash of 100% Pure Chosen Foods Avocado Oil, and a third dash of Himalayan Pink Salt, referred to as the purest salt in the world. Then I started eating as I wrote this post about Semper Fi.  [Note: all the ingredients for the popcorn came from Costco, an American company.]

The United States Marine Corps celebrates its birthday on November 10 because on that day, a decree of the Second Continental Congress led to the Marine Corps first official recruiting drive in the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—some argue that the recruiting may have started unofficially before November 10, 1775.

I wonder what kind of beer the first Marines in 1775 drank at the Tun Tavern.

Did you know there is a Founding Fathers Lager Beer listed along with forty-nine other brands that made the list of The 50 Most Patriotic Beers in America?

Too bad the best beer I have ever sipped, St. Bernardus Abt 12 [a product of Belgium], doesn’t qualify.

I guess I should have called this post, Simper Fi, Popcorn and Beer. After all, a cold beer goes great with salty snacks, and I drank my first beer when I was still on active duty in the U.S. Marines back in the 1960s during a brief stay in Okinawa before shipping out to fight in Vietnam.

Do you think a chilled-bottle of beer and a salty-bowl of popcorn would be a good way to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

 

2013 San Francisco Book Festival Award Winners

Running with the Enemy by Lloyd Lofthouse was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00034]

 

The winner of the general fiction category went to John Irving’s In One Person published by Simon & Schuster, and the grand prize was awarded to The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen & Live Without Regret by Richie Norton with Natalie Norton — Shadow Mountain Publishing.

John Irving won the National Book Award in 1980 for The World According to Garp, and he received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story “Interior Space. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules.

Richard Norton, the grand prize winner of the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival, is the CEO of Global Consulting Circle. He is a sought after speaker and consultant for the corporate growth and personal development industries. Norton has shared the stage with bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Kevin Rollins, former CEO of Dell Computers.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning My Splendid Concubine and Running with the Enemy. His short story, A Night at the ‘Well of Purity’ was named a finalist in the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. Anchee Min, Lloyd’s wife, is the author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year—in addition to national bestsellers Becoming Madame Mao and Empress Orchid, which was a finalist for the British Book Awards. Min’s memoir, the sequel to Red AzaleaThe Cooked Seed—will be released May 7, 2013.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
is the award winning author of
My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW