In Praise Of Heroes

A Lebanese woman is wheeled on a stetcher after an explosion rocked the Christian area of Ashrafieh in Beirut, killing a 63-year-old woman and injuring 10 people, May 20, 2007. JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images

Each week, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer concludes Face The Nation with his commentary.

We spend a lot of time talking about our heroes. But most of the time we get it mixed up: We confuse heroism with celebrity.

Oh sure, we can admire athletes and be awed by physical skills.

And sure, it's fun to see movie and TV stars in person.

But to say that hitting the home run that wins the game is not heroism takes nothing away from the skill required to accomplish such a feat.

Nor does it diminish the fun of seeing someone famous to realize that celebrity sometimes requires no skill except personal promotion.

But such things are not the stuff of heroism.

It was once said that real heroes are those who have the courage and presence of mind to do in extraordinary circumstances what any of us would do in normal circumstances.

And isn't that exactly what the crew on that Navy plane hit by the Chinese fighter did? And did a lot of it while that plane was upside down in a dive.

I love movies and sports but for heroes, I'll take that group of Young Americans.

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