Had we lived I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale.
Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials.
Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.
Heroism feels and never reasons, and therefore is always right.
Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.
Heroism is the divine relation which, in all times, unites a great man to other men.
How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?
I am convinced that a light supper, a good night's sleep, and a fine morning, have sometimes made a hero of the same man, who, by an indigestion, a restless night, and rainy morning, would have proved a coward.
I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me.
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
If we are marked to die, we are enough to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor.
In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs.
In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.
It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.
It is said, that no one is a hero to their butler. The reason is, that it requires a hero to recognize a hero. The butler, however, will probably know well how to estimate his equals.
It's true that heroes are inspiring, but mustn't they also do some rescuing if they are to be worthy of their name? Would Wonder Woman matter if she only sent commiserating telegrams to the distressed?
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ''This was their finest hour.''
Listen, my friend, there are two races of beings. The masses teeming and happy –common clay, if you like –eating, breeding, working, counting their pennies; people who just live; ordinary people; people you can't imagine dead. And then there are the others –the noble ones, the heroes. The ones you can quite well imagine lying shot, pale and tragic; one minute triumphant with a guard of honor, and the next being marched away between two gendarmes.
Mankind's common instinct for reality has always held the world to be essentially a theatre for heroism. In heroism, we feel, life's supreme mystery is hidden. We tolerate no one who has no capacity whatever for it in any direction. On the other hand, no matter what a man's frailties otherwise may be, if he be willing to risk death, and still more if he suffer it heroically, in the service he has chosen, the fact consecrates him forever.
Most people aren't appreciated enough, and the bravest things we do in our lives are usually known only to ourselves. No one throws ticker tape on the man who chose to be faithful to his wife, on the lawyer who didn't take the drug money, or the daughter who held her tongue again and again. All this anonymous heroism.