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As Long as We Remember...

September 11, 2003

Superman! Where Are You?

Mike Kuster

It's a shame kids today don't grow up with superheroes like we did. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spiderman never killed anyone. They always saved the day without too much violence. In the end, the bad guys were handed over to the authorities, and all were grateful for the great deeds these men performed.

As kids, my friends and I spent our time pretending to be these superheroes or even cops (like my dad). Our goal was to fight for justice and the American way.

Do kids have the imagination left in them?

Are they inspired to play such games?

Do they know these great fictional heroes?

Do they fight for justice and the American way?

When I was young, a popular song on the radio raised a similar alarm; I don't believe that "Superman and Robin Hood are still alive in Hollywood." Today, I question they're existence in Hollywood and in the minds of our children.

Superman was even killed in 1993. The event prompted a song by Hal Ketchum entitled Hang in There Superman. Ketchum's song reminded the hero that those who are now grandparents, parents, and a few great-grandparents still remember him.

Now, we need a superhero more than ever.

We need a whole host of superheroes like Captain America, Wonder Woman, but especially Superman.

Terrorism scares the living stuffing out of Americans. America and the whole world needs someone in whom they believe will save the day.

The craving for a hero in those who are scared, impoverished, or in pain is so strong. That is the reason Bin Laden is so popular among Muslims. That is the reason suicide bombers receive praise among the population in Palestine. They are desperate for hope.

Who do our children look for as their hero?

September 11, 2001, would have made a classic storyline for Superman. Alas, there was no Man of Steel to grab those planes from the sky and direct them to safety.

Last week, a scene from a Superman story came to life as no other has before (if the story is as Brian Wells claims).

Brian Wells, a pizza deliveryman, claims that he was sent to deliver pizza to a remote location near a television tower. Once there, he was fitted with a bomb locked to his neck. The bad guys told him he would receive instructions for removing the bomb if he robbed a bank of $250,000 before the bomb exploded.

Mr. Wells did as instructed and followed the instructions given to him. Unfortunately for Mr. Wells, the police caught up with him. Even worse, the bomb squad did not make it before the bomb exploded around his neck.

Where was Superman? He could have used his heat vision to cut through the locks holding the bomb around this man's neck. Then, he could have protected all from the explosion with his own body or thrown the bomb into space.

If ever Superman were needed, this is the time. Alas, Superman only exists in Hollywood and comic books (if even they still exist).

Instead, the heroes of our world sacrifice their lives everyday. Heroes fought their captors in the sky over Pennsylvania, possibly saving our Capitol or our White House.

Heroes ran into burning towers, saving the lives of those fleeing the towers.

Heroes put their lives on the line everyday by putting on a badge to fight crime and protect our freedoms and our lives.

Heroes rush everyday into burning buildings, accident scenes, and to those in need.

Heroes march across the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanistan, and around the globe to fight terror, crime, and for freedom of our fellow man in other countries.

On this Patriot Day, celebrate our freedoms. Most of all celebrate and remember our real life heroes. Pray for them.

Lastly, pray that our children and those in other parts of the world learn to hope, imagine, and believe in the qualities we learned from Superman, Roy Rogers, Luke Skywalker and our other everyday heroes.

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