Who are our heroes?
In the American story it has been individuals who have done things, or groups who have done things. Sometimes the groups have been doing Government things, like the Iron Brigade or the 20th Maine or private groups, like the first winning America's Cup Team.
Individuals might be someone like Edison or Einstein, Ford or the Wright Brothers, maybe George Washington Carver. Sure, there is Audie Murphy, war hero, but still, while the Government gave him the gun, uniform and training, he did part of it on his own. That is why we have individual in addition to unit awards. He earned an MOH and a DSC and a SS, plus other individual awards.
Life of Julia notwithstanding, we commemorate the individuals. Sure, you are who you are due to your parents, assisted by your Minister or Rabbi, Sunday School teacher, public (or private) school teachers and the cop who let you off with a warning, but at the end of the day you are responsible and thus you get the credit or the blame.
Yes, we all succeed because the US Military has kept us safe and President Eisenhower sold a national highway system and President Lincoln sold an idea to give land to railroads to encourage them to strike out across the nation and there is an FAA to keep airliners going in the proper direction. For TSA I am not so sure. Sometimes we have big debates about how to do things. In the 1930s we had a big debate on how to develop electric power production, perhaps represented best by the views of President Roosevelt and Challenger Wendell Willkie (a "liberal" Republican).
Public vs private is a good debate to have, time and time again.
We should be publicizing our heroes, not belittling them, especially the ones who made it without having to fight a war, however worthy that war may have been.
Regards&nsp; — Cliff