In pace leones, in proelio cervi.
In peace, they are lions; in battle, deer.
I fell in love with today's Latin proverb (provided by the ever-gracious Laura Gibbs). I tried to put a positive spin on the pithy thought [peace time brings the regal bearing; battle reveals the deft speed], but in reviewing Gibbs' post on the subject, gravity prevailed. Deer are proverbially cowardly.
If you know anything about deer (in the forest; not those populating your lawn, nibbling your begonias, or whatever they do in (sub)urban areas), you know they're skittish beyond belief. They'll blow and dart away --> if they're bucks -- those great regal creatures with the curving, pointed antlers -- they blow once, maybe twice, and then scram for the next county. Maybe even the next state. If they're does, they'll blow a dozen times, run, stop, turn around, and blow some more, before running off for the hinter lands.
This is such typical human behavior. Oh, I pray it's not mine. Makes me think, though. And you? Do you know anyone like this? All bluster, no blow? Can't walk the talk? When push comes to shove, they skedaddle?
I don't want to be a writer like this. I don't want to be a human like this. I guess I want to walk softly always, stand strong when duty calls, bend with willow-strength when required.
On this day, especially, strength and valor and heroism seem so important, so worthy a goal, so difficult to attain. On this day, especially, I remember those who refused the easy way out, those who did the right thing, the hard thing, the thing which required their all.
Anthony is right: the only way to honor such sacrifice is to be a first responder.