My hero died
On a g-chat conversation with Carly and Ben tonight, Ben mentioned that Dick Winters died.
When I was around 6 or 7, I was introduced to the history of WWII. My step-dad taught a class on the Holocaust and when I was around 9 or 10, I began to understand just how serious of a time it was. I read the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel on the way to the Outer Banks and of course “The Diary of Anne Frank.” My favorite movie of all time is Schindler’s List and I’ve read multiple biographies on Oskar Schindler. I knew there was more to WWII than just the Holocaust, but that’s what I focused on most.
However, when I worked at TGI Fridays, a coworker told me that he thought I’d love to watch Band of Brothers and lent me the series. I had the next day off, so when I got home, I watched the first episode and was instantly hooked. I was up all night and by the time the sun was coming up, I had finished the last episode.
One thing I had to know after watching that was: Who was Dick Winters?
In the mini-series, he was so amazing and inspirational, I thought to myself that there was no way someone like that truly existed.
For my birthday that year, my best friend Ian bought me Dick Winters’ autobiography. I read it cover to cover in a day and was in complete awe. He really was everything that HBO played him out to be. He was humble, kind, courageous and a true leader. He gave more than any normal man could and all the men who served with him would agree.
From the USA Today article I read, one of his former soldiers Bill Guarnere was quoted saying: “He was a good man, a very good man,” Guarnere said. “I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company.”
I think everyone out there has a hero. My best friend Ian’s was Roberto Clemente. Matt’s was Jay Bell. Claire’s is Sidney Crosby. Mine was Dick Winters. He died January 2nd and I’m sad. Sure, he was 92 and had a battle with Parkinson’s Disease, but it’s the thought that heroes can die that makes me sad.
However, he’s at peace now and totally deserves what the afterlife will bring him. They don’t make men like Dick Winters much anymore. He was a man who truly gave his life for others and never asked for anything in return. As I mentioned before, he was humble, patient and kind. And I’m positive he’ll be greatly missed.
“If you can,” Winters wrote, “find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down.”
My hero died last week and I’m sad. But I’m glad that he was my hero, because everyone needs a hero.