THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY
Yesterday , the 20th of November, 2013, I shook Oliver North’s hand. Col. North was signing copies at a local Costco of his inspirational book about recently injured and killed soldiers: American Heroes on the Homefront. The subtitle to the book is The Hearts of Heroes, and indeed our hearts go out to the young families depicted in the book who are valiantly dealing with the deaths and terrible injuries of their loved ones. The numerous pictures of smiling soldiers whose bodies have been devastated by war, but whose spirits still soar are lessons to us all. Our little troubles pale in comparison. Col. North should be commended for the work he has done on behalf of these gallant warriors and their families. At the beginning of his book, he writes that “Heroes are people who place themselves at risk for the benefit of others.” (p.xi) I think this is about as good a definition of the modern usage of the word “hero” as any lexicographer could devise.