I cried at the end of Schindler's List; Oskar Schindler was a hero, and to see the aged Jewish survivors pay respect to his grave and his life, the only part of the film shot in color, was too much for me.
But no matter how heroic Schindler was, in real life or on the big screen, the fact remains that we have billions of heroes walking among us, and they are visible during times of distress, big and small. When you help an old person across the street or help them carry their bags, you're a hero to that old person. When right now your job compels you to go out and work among the ones who need you and your services during the viral outbreak, you're a hero, because you expose yourself, you risk your health in order for society to not completely grind to a halt. Unfortunately our society is by design organized in such a way that it doesn't treat those heroes the way they deserve to be treated; the cashier at the groceries, the Amazon worker who packs your orders, the ones who deliver those packages, nurse's aides who help save the lifes of infected people and so on, are among the lowest paid workers in our for profit society.
Again we're confronted with a complete reversal of actual reality; the most important jobs are rewarded least. When the garbage collectors in your city go on strike, you will literally smell their absence, and you know it's the smell of a lot of sickness and misery approaching. Controversially if all CEO's of all hedge-funds go on strike, you wouldn't care less. The soldiers who go out and fight, presumably to guard your freedom, are drafted from the poorest parts of your country, and are payed less than the mercenaries who now do a lot of the fighting in the Middle East and are not counted in the official numbers of soldiers or deaths. Our heroes are the ones we sacrifice first, that's the ugly truth.
Not too long ago, right after the September 11 attacks in 2001, we were witness to tragedy and heroism approaching the levels seen in Schindler's List; the first responders, the fire brigades, the police, the rescue workers, even the dogs used to search for survivors under the rubble, are the heroes I'm talking about here. Everyday people who set everything else aside and put our minds at ease by showing us that there's hope, that we're capable of doing so much good when the need arises, setting an example directly opposed to the one set by the horrible terrorist attack. We were of course also fooled by letting our anger be directed against an enemy made up by neoconservative warmongers who finally got their wish of invading the Middle East. And how were the heroes treated? We sacrificed them of course. All the rescue dogs are dead. Many first responders are dead or dying. The dust that hung around "Ground Zero" was toxic and cause respiratory problems on a large scale, hitting the heroes foremost. The way they were treated by the American government is appalling and inhuman; they needed their medical bills covered, they needed saving after they saved so many others. I would very much like you to watch Jon Stewart in the below linked video, and I would hope his speech touches you like it did me...
Jon Stewart slams Congress over benefits for 9/11 first responders
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