I’ve been thinking about national heroes

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Police in one of the most crime-ridden areas of Brazil have employed a new officer in their fight against crime: Batman. Local schoolchildren are understandably thrilled with their new hero, although speaking candidly to the camera, the Caped Crusader admits, “My participation will be merely playful. I will not actually battle crime.”

This brings to mind a moment from my childhood. Whilst visiting relatives in the Philippines, I was on a day out with my uncle and young cousins. We wandered through a park, passing a grand monument which held no particular interest for me as I was keen to get to the zoo. Unknown to me, the monument stood in honour of nationalist José Rizal whose execution by the Spanish in 1896 became a major factor in the Philippine Revolution. The park itself was named after Rizal and to this day he is revered as a national hero.

As we walked past the monument, my ten year old cousin turned to me in excitement and began to jabber earnestly in Filipino.

My uncle translated. “He wants to know if you have any heroes in England?”

My cousin’s jaw dropped in envy as I replied proudly, “Of course. We have Superman.”

 

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