Respect for a Superhero

Almost six years ago, acts of terrorism caused me to write about the need for a superhero

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[Justice League? Avengers?] Comic book crime fighters and villains have been around since the late 1920s. Many publishing companies – and beloved characters – have come and gone over the decades, but there have been two major notable players (owned by Jews): DC Comics and Marvel Comics. DC gave us the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern. Marvel introduced us to Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, and Spider-Man. While I personally was never into reading comic books, I certainly fell in love with these smart and fearless [personas] as they graced the big screen over the years.

Now, whether or not you know the intimate facts and details of each of these characters’ lives, you certainly have heard of them or have a sense of what they do and what they stand for. First, how do they do what they do? It’s important to note that, with the exception of Superman, most superheroes are human. They were not born in possession of actual super-powers; rather they acquired extraordinary skills and abilities – or a special “gift” – they strategically put to use to keep the planet safe. For example, Tony Stark uses special armored suits to become Iron Man; Bruce Wayne changes into Batman with the assistance of a hi-tech mask and cape, car, gadgets and gizmos; and the bite of a radioactive spider transforms Peter Parker into a Spider-Man with the ability to scale buildings and shoot out webs.

Why do they do what they do? Simply put: superheroes have a strong moral desire to protect the public from criminals, and save the world from super-villains who threaten humanity. They know right from wrong. Their mission is to take on the fight between “good” and “evil.”

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This week, the following picture was going around on Facebook:

Seeing it caused a lump to form in my throat and a squeeze to my heart.

This pandemic is a unique type of villain. Its methods of killing are unpredictable. Anyone can be its prey. Yes, its demise maybe be inevitable, but when will that time come? We may not know, but we can’t just sit around terrified and do nothing until then.

No one in the world can ignore the ways in which those in the medical profession have jumped to action. Many were not even called to duty; rather, they volunteered. And despite the potential risk to themselves and their families, these brave and selfless souls have shown us all what real heroism is all about.

Theirs is a true fight to save humanity and our ways of life. They are battling a merciless killer and will continue on until a vaccine is discovered. Every first-responder deserves our gratitude, respect, and so much more. Their honorable and heroic efforts humble us.

We all bow to you — healthcare professionals around the world — with profound and heartfelt thanks.