The celebration of America's birthday and her enduring presence is a celebration of real military heroes.
In some ways we all get decide what a "hero" is for ourselves -- and America, as a society, gets to decide what a hero is to our culture. Civil, cultural disagreement is as American as apple pie, so why wouldn't it be a part of this discussion, too? The best part is that there is no reason for any person to have just one hero in just one category. Personally, I've got a whole pile of them collected for inspiration and encouragement.
But that doesn't mean there isn't a whole new level of heroism found in the patriotism we celebrate around Independence Day. And those of us close to the American military know what that heroism is because we have seen it firsthand.
Not every hero receives the Medal of Honor in recognition of what he or she did. And not every hero is willing to accept that title. Real heroes, after all, rarely label themselves as such.