One of the best books I've ever read was "D-Day" by Stephen E. Ambrose. As I worked my way through the telling of what took place on the beach at Normandy, I felt a sense of awe. The commitment to the assault and the bravery demonstrated by the Allied Forces left me humbled and grateful. It seems to me that we toss the word, "hero," around very easily these days. If you want to know about true heroism, read a book like "D-Day."
What was it like on this day in 1944? Pvt. Robert Zafft put it like this: I made it up the hill, I made it all the way to where the Germans had stopped us for the night, and I guess I made it up the hill of manhood. (page 581).
And then there was this reflection from Sgt. John Ellery: My contribution to the heroic tradition of the United States Army might have been the smallest achievement in the history of courage, but at least, for a time, I had walked in the company of brave men. (page 582).