Michael Jackson was a pop star icon who earned the title, ‘King of Pop.’  He was a talented singer and dancer who broke down barriers for the African-American community.  Unfortunately, he was also a tortured soul who suffered through two marriages and divorces, along with medical and substance abuse problems.  His lifestyle and behavior often bordered on the bizzare and controversial.  This may be why the public and media are so fascinated by him.

There are also questions and concerns plaquing the minds of people.  Some areas of interest are, what kind of drugs he took, which doctor or doctors will be held responsible for his death, or whether his elderly mother will be able to care for his children.  This opinion is further solidified by the media that has continually played out his life over the airwaves and in print. 

It has gone so far that government has gotten involved.  It amazes me that Congress, our Congress was so affected by his death, they honored him with a moment of silence.  There has also been talk of putting his image on a postage stamp.  It is so tempting to say, ‘please, wake me up when it’s over!’

American culture has changed its views on what constitutes an American hero worthy of high praise.  This is unfortunate for the American soldier, who is now taking a back seat in place of wildly popular personalities, including a pop star icon.  The American soldier might have a special loved one, kids and extended family members that are praying for his or her safety.  This soldier is a person who has dreams, wishes and plans for the future.

In spite of everything, for the love of family and country, this person lays it all down, all the while knowing that they may not make it back home again.  The soldiers who come back are the lucky ones.  For those who pay the ultimate sacrifice, their dreams, plans and wishes die too.  What remains in the hearts of loved ones, are the memories along with the pain and knowledge that children will grow up without a parent, a wife is now a widow and parents have experienced a pain like no other.  They are faced with the reality that they are going to bury their child.

How are the American soldiers honored?  Was there a moment of silence to honor them?  Are their lives and sacrifice honored by the media showing respect, giving testimonies and tributes to these worthy soldiers?  I am sure there are a select few, but not enough.  For starters, it would be a good thing to see an American soldier image on a postage stamp.  It would also be nice to see Congress set aside time each session to give a moment of silence to our fallen soldiers.  How about a memorial to honor those who have died?

American society and culture has changed so much, people no longer recognize a real hero when they see one.

by J Elizabeth LaFon


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