When I was growing up, there were heroes I looked up to.
- Chuck Yeager–the first person to break the sound barrier in level flight.
- John Glenn–the first American to orbit the earth and later US Senator
- Neil Armstrong–The first man on the moon
- Gene Kranz–NASA Flight Director for Gemini and Apollo
Each of these people did something noteworthy–PLUS three of the four are from my home state of Ohio. Gene Kranz graduated from the same high school I did.
Women who did great things in the 1960s didn’t get the spotlight, or even worse, the credit went to a male instead of the female who actually did the work. VADM Grace Hopper, NASA’s Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and their colleagues would not be publicly acknowledged until decades after they had achieved great things..
The closest I came to considering a celebrity as a hero was Jimmy Stewart. I liked his laid back style, but I admired the fact that he enlisted in the Army as a private as soon as he could, became a pilot, and volunteered to fly B-24s over Europe. After the war, he remained in the Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of brigadier general.
Who are today’s heroes? Who do our children and grandchildren look up to? Who inspires them?