Yesterday I took a long bike ride on the Minuteman Trail past Lexington and read a brochure describing the trail and in particular, Paul Revere (whose midnight ride is paralleled by the trail). And then I remembered all the admirals and generals we were were taught in high school, whom I've since forgotten (you know, "I have not yet begun to fight," etc.)
My quick question: Who cares? What value does it provide society to create these heroes.
My second question: Why these heroes and not others? I used to pooh-pooh the feminist / minority clamors to dig up more women and minority historical figures (See, I remember Crispus Attucks but not the guy who said that quote above). But now I'm thinking -- How do we know that these folks didn't contribute more to history than Cornwallis (was he British? whatever) or other military figures? And how does this reflect the real purpose that heroes play in our history?
(BTW, history was always my least-favorite subject because I despised memorizing names, dates, etc., which to me wasn't history but the equivalent of baseball statistics).