When to use the word “hero”

From: Mother Jones

Returning from Iraq, the Damage Done

It’s easy to send soldiers off to war. It’s harder to face them when they come home. —Photo Essay and Interviews by Nina Berman, Text by Verlyn Klinkenborg

And yet in a nation that is sick with celebrity, the word “hero” works in strange ways. We fear the elitism of the word, and so we democratize it, bestowing it everywhere, without really understanding what we’re doing.