I'm no hero. I've never done anything heroic in my life, but I should be a hero, as everyone else seems to be. Last night a friend was telling me about a woman who has organised Meals on Wheels for Jewish peeps in her local area for twenty five years. He suggested she should get a gong (an honour from the government). I agreed, until he told me it was a paid position.
I just will not have it that people who just do their paid job are worthy of awards.
While of course it is sad that Neil Armstrong died, and wow, it is quite some achievement to walk on the moon, he wasn't a hero. The commercial television news was sickening with repeated references to him being a hero. He did his job. He had a lot of training for the job. The poorest US taxpayer paid for his training. He went about his job very proficiently and certainly achieved. It was a truly remarkable moment in world history. I watched it live at school but only now do I realise what a technological achievement it was for the US.
Armstrong sounds like he was a good bloke, but he was not a hero. People who satisfactorily perform their paid jobs are not heroes. Even those who do better than satisfactory are not heroes. They are just really good at their jobs.
And well paid politicians and high ranking public servants are not heroes. They are just doing their job too. (Sir Humphrey is turning in his grave).
A hero is someone who risks their person, physical or otherwise, to help someone else. A recipient of an award should be someone who is not paid to do something, but sacrifices their own time to benefit a community. There are many people who I know who give an extraordinary amount their time for the public benefit. These are the people who should be recognised with an honour.