Heroes come in all sizes. The Bible had David. The balladeer had Big John. But whether a hero is short or tall, thin or burly, or something in between, there is one thing that all heroes have in common.
They are willing to risk their lives and limbs for those of us who do not rise to heroic proportions.
Tomorrow morning, those of us who can only aspire to be heroes have an opportunity to show our support and admiration for those who have made it-- and to have fun at the same time.
The event: "The Valley's Tribute to American Heroes: A Red, White and Blue Parade" will step out at 10 a.m. Saturday on Market Street. It promises to be a parade for the ages, with more than 130 units participating, and perhaps more marching bands than have ever been assembled for a parade in the Mahoning Valley. (Note to folks in Pennsylvania, don't let the Valley designation keep you away; c'mon over.)
This parade promises to remind older veterans of Armistice Day parades of the past, when thousands of people would turn out to show their respect and admiration for service given to country and to fellow man.
The scope of this year's parade has been broadened. It will pay respect to the victims of September 11 and will honor not only veterans, but all those who responded in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, as well as all military veterans, active duty and reserve personnel and local police and firefighters. The military and safety forces especially fit the definition of heroes, putting their lives on the line for others every day.
Sponsors: The parade is presented by The Vindicator and WFMJ TV 21 and sponsored by K-105, Y-103, Hot 101 and The DeBartolo Corp. -- Denise and John York.
But it can be a true success only if the people turn out in numbers appropriate to the men and women being honored.
Two New York City firefighters, Paul Iannizzotto and Robert Salvesen, will serve as grand marshals of the parade. They were on the front lines in the immediate aftermath of the latest attack on America. They are among America's newest heroes.
But they will be joined by heroes of past wars and by their brothers and sisters in today's safety forces.
We invite you to join us. It will be a great place to be -- for heroes and hero-worshippers.