Like many Americans I felt badly about the passing of Yogi Berraand will miss him. He was a great baseball player, a gentleman, apparently kind, thoughtful and very, very charismatic. ButYogi Berrawas not a hero. Hero is a term that should be reserved for people who do heroic things, things that exemplify courage, bravery and willingness to do that which most of us would surely fear.
The firefighter who runs in when we are running out, the police officer who rescues a person threatened by a criminal and our warriors — the men and women deployed in harm's way — these are surely heroes.
The ability to excel at a game, to jump high or to run fast on a football field are great traits, and the source of great income in some cases, but definitely not heroic. Playing bingo with friend Phil Rizzuto three times a week made Berra a devoted friend, a kind person, a caring person, but a hero? I think not.
Let us reserve the term "hero" for the people I cited and others like them. Let us recognize our sports figures and entertainers for the positive qualities they have, but let's not diminish the heroism of true heroes.