As daily users of language, intelligent people recognize that many words have sometimes subtle and sometimes drastically different meanings to each individual. That is what makes a living language.
A word like “hero” was at first reserved for the most extreme acts of bravery and selflessness. Our culture has come to use this word much more offhandedly than in decades past to the point that I am now a hero for volunteering for the coast guard for a year.
I have two issues. First, shame on those that try to publicly shame a good man that has, in many ways, served and loved his community. Second, what word do these people use to describe only the highest level of bravery and selflessness? For Mr. Lewers and myself we still reserve the word “hero” for that purpose.
You are entitled to disagree, but this is a discussion of semantics not a question of one’s integrity or loyalty to humanity, and does not warrant any level of ad hominem of the like his critics have written. According to all these critics that insist every volunteer firefighter is a hero, Derek Lewers is a hero. I would like to refuse that title based on how Mr. Lewers has been treated.
I love my little town but sometimes I find the pettiness disturbing.