Do you remember America’s heroes? Those brave women and men who risked their lives to protect us from aliens, from villains, and even from ourselves? The heroes who had true superpowers, but who also had values that we can all look up to, and who helped the world simply because they felt they had to. Those were the heroes, or superheroes, that youths looked up to and Meredith Iler fears they have been forgotten.

Meredith Iler on the Heroes of Today and Yesterday

Not too long ago superheroes were part of everyday life. There were posters in every child’s room, comic books to be read, and movies to see when they finally came out. Come Halloween, every child wanted to be a superhero. They gave people a sense, and they also taught us respect for the real heroes, not the superheroes. They made us understand that people like our veterans have truly given their lives for us.

Today, however, people look up to the likes of Mike Tyson and Britney Spears. Young people today look up to those who are all about the money and who no longer have family values. Most “heroes” today are people who have gotten arrested because their fame went to their heads. Yet, as always, children mimic their heroes. They want to be as they are. Unfortunately, children therefore no longer play policeman, firefighter, or soldier. They play superstar, riding imaginary wrecking balls in tiny items of clothing.

But one thing is starting to become clear once again: no matter how much Hollywood and the glitz and glamor of stardom makes us think that heroes to look up to are those who have millions and who provide us with entertainment, there are true heroes among us. There are brave men and women who continue to serve in the army, who continue to risk their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. They put their lives on the line for everyday people, ensuring that we can live in a democracy. And they do this not for the fame or the fortune, they do this because they believe in our basic freedom.

The media may have forgotten about the true heroes. They may have stopped seeing family values as something to encourage, because there is no money to be made in it. Batman and Superman aren’t really cool anymore. But our serving soldiers and our veterans, believes Meredith Iler, continue to be true heroes. And, thankfully, she is not alone in that belief. More and more people are turning their backs to the media. They are becoming less interested in seeing the likes of Justin Bieber sing about taking it slow, and more interested in making sure that veterans do not become homeless and on the streets.

There is a shift in American society, a shift for the better. Finally, people are saying once again that it is about those who truly make a difference for society as a whole, and who do that because of the goodness in their hearts, and not the paycheck they may receive from their sponsors.