The Washington Post

Chatological Humor: Are all the war fallen “heroes?”

We begin today with a bit of a Memorial Day kerfuffle over the recent pronouncement of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who said he’s “uncomfortable” with use of the term “hero” to describe America’s recent war dead. Here’s a vid of him saying it: Link

And here’s the transcript:

I think it’s interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words “heroes.” Um, and, ah, ah, why do I feel so … comfortable, ah, UNcomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.

Take the poll and join Gene Weingarten as he discusses this and more in his live chat Tuesday, May 29 at Noon ET. Submit your questions and opinions for him to respond to now.

Gene Weingarten is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writes "Below the Beltway," a weekly humor column that is nationally syndicated.


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