DAVID M. PETROU, Eisner, Petrou & Associates, Inc.
It's a symptom of our post-Vietnam, post-Watergate cynicism to say we live in an age devoid of heroes. And particularly in this year when the media fixation on scandal is evidently insatiable, that unfortunate viewpoint has only deepened. In part, our adulation of John Glenn - a genuine hero from a somewhat more innocent era - is in direct proportion to the daily debunking that's endemic to our tabloid age. We began the century with legendary, almost mythic figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Queen Victoria dominating the world stage. And we're ending it largely in the shadow of dwarfs. Why? It's because we so desperately long to look up to people who seem larger than life or somehow 'better' than we are.
THOMAS J. MADDEN, Transmedia Public Relations
We tend to look up for heroes. In some cases, way up - like John Glenn.
Certainly those superstars who soar the highest, make the most baskets and hit the most home runs deserve our admiration. But should we look only in high places? Are not members of the clergy heroes for reminding us who the ultimate hero is? Aren't authors, artists and musicians heroes of our culture? Police officers and firefighters? Parents who work two jobs to raise a family? Why not look in different directions for heroes?
You might know one yourself.
BILL NEAGUS, APR, Jacobs & Prosek
John Glenn may be the most visible American hero, but he isn't alone.
There's his fellow astronauts and maybe a couple of his fellow Senators.
Then there's the millions who struggle to give their families decent lives; the parents who volunteer at their children's schools; the corporate leaders who donate millions to buy food for the needy or to fight cancer. You don't have to make headlines to be a hero; it just helps to have good public relations counsel.
TREY FITZGERALD, Major League Soccer
John Glenn's return to space, like all of his successes through the years, was exemplified by his thirst for knowledge, determination to follow his heart and a 'seize the day' attitude. The heroes who surround us every day are the parents, teachers and mentors who encourage and enlighten our children. They unselfishly take the time to educate the young minds, cultivate their passion in sports, the arts, or business, and demonstrate that dreams can indeed be achieved with focus, patience and an appreciation of our diverse world.