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National Heroes Day

Maybe you know the names of some superheroes. There are a lot of movies today for different kinds of heroes. Maybe you know Batman or Superman, Spiderman or Captain America. These are superheroes who have special powers. They can fly. They can fight. They can save the earth. They are cool. They are fast. They save the day and give us inspiration.

But today is Heroes Day. It is not a day to celebrate Superman or the Avengers. It is not a day to talk about Batman or Spiderman. This is a day for twenty-five countries around the world who choose one day to celebrate people who are real heroes, the kind of heroes that change life in a good way.

Many of the countries that celebrate Heroes Day, like South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia, and Malaysia remember people who died in war. Other countries like Jamaica, Indonesia, and Romania celebrate the heroes who helped the country to become free.

In Japan you have heroes throughout your history to study. Sakamoto Ryoma and Sugihara Chiune are heroes we learn about in history. In old stories, like the Heike Monogatari we find examples of people who were heroes too, like Jomyou Meishu, or characters like Benkei and Yoshitsune.

But we find a lot of heroes in different places too. In Russia, in 1976, also on September 16, a swimmer named Shavarsh Karapetyan, was jogging with his brother. They saw a bus fall into the river, and the river was very deep. Shavarsh jumped into the water and found the bus 10 meters below. He kicked out the glass of the back door and started to save people. Many died, but he saved over 20 people. He was badly injured and stayed in the hospital for 45 days. Seven years later he was walking and he saw a building on fire. He ran into the building and saved more people. At that time he had many bad burns on his arms and had to be in the hospital again. In Russia, and Armenia he is a national hero.

In Canada we have a few heroes as well. My favorite is a young man named Terry Fox. Terry had cancer and one of his legs was cut off because of the terrible cancer. Terry Fox was a marathon runner so he got an artificial leg and started to run across Canada to support cancer research. Terry collected a lot of money and he ran very far. He did not finish the marathon across Canada because the cancer became very bad and he died when he was only 22 years old. In Canada Terry Fox is our national hero.

When we think of someone who is a hero we often think of someone who is a very big, or very important person. But we also know heroes in our everyday life too. A hero is someone who is kind and who helps others. A hero is someone who gives to others and supports others. A hero is someone who thinks about other people first and fights for justice and works hard to do the right thing.

Heroes are in all kinds of jobs, and are in all places around the world. Sometimes when there is a big problem, like a typhoon or an earthquake, we must act quickly to be safe, and also if possible, to help other people too. It is very possible that someone you know may become a hero, or you may be a hero yourself. Anything can happen in the future.

Sometimes to be a hero means to do something small for another person. It can be something like to be kind to someone who needs kindness. It can be something like to be gentle when the other person is angry. It can be helping a friend who has trouble in study. It can be something like doing something positive in your neighborhood or helping someone near your house. It can be something like helping animals that are in danger.

These are all things that heroes can do.

Thank you very much and have a great National Heroes Day.