- True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
- Arthur Ashe, s quoted in Worth Repeating : More Than 5,000 Classic and Contemporary Quotes (2003) by Bob Kelly, p. 169
- The hero is the world-man, in whose heart
One passion stands for all, the most indulged.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1839), Proem, line 114
- Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh, we can be heroes just for one day.
- Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.
Galileo: No, Andrea: Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that changing the name of Newark Airport to Liberty International Airport would be a way of honoring "the more than 3,000 heroes who died for their country in the World Trade Center." Pardon me for pointing this out, folks, but stock traders, clerks, receptionists, cooks, waiters and building maintenance people in the World Trade Center didn't die for their country. They died because they went to work. Not one of them would have shown up for work that day if you had told them they would die as a result. Try to get your heroes straight.
Not everyone who died in 9/11 was a hero. Hero is a very special word, that's why we reserve it for certain special people. ... If everyone's a hero, then the word doesn't mean much anymore. And sooner or later we'll have to give the real heroes (the heroic ones) a new name, to distinguish them from the rest of the pack. Too bad "superheroes" is already taken; it would have been perfect. But relax, folks, if I know us, "megahero" can't be too far over the horizon. Although to be honest, I kind of like the alliteration in "hyperhero." Let's shoot or that.
- George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops (2004), "Heroes Who Died for Their Country"
- He knows a hero when he sees one. Too few characters out there, flying around like that, saving old girls like me. And Lord knows, kids like Henry need a hero. Courageous, self-sacrificing people. Setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they'll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there's a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.
- Someone can conquer kingdoms and countries without being a hero; someone else can prove himself a hero by controlling his temper. Someone can display courage by doing the out-of-the-ordinary, another by doing the ordinary. The question is always-how does he do it?
- Soren Kierkegaard Either/Or Part II, Hong, p. 298 (1843)
- People would be amazed at the behind-the-scenes activity in hero-making; quarrels over which cases are most deserving; seeing that all ranks and units are properly represented; dressing up weak cases to make them appear stronger; last minute switches from one class of decoration to another. … The number of decorations is determined, not by the number of deserving cases, but by the number and types of medals the admiral totes along.
- Herbert Merillat, in Guadalcanal Remembered (1982); also in "Herbert Merillat; wrote about what he saw at Guadalcanal" by Adam Bernstein in The Washington Post (2 May 2010)
- The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.
- General George S. Patton, in a speech to the Third Army (5 June 1944); published in The Unknown Patton (1982) by Charles M. Province, p. 32
- Never run against a war hero.
- Adlai Stevenson, who famously campaigned twice for US president against Dwight Eisenhower, when asked if he had any advice to give to a young politician, as quoted in "History Remembers…Adlai Stevenson" by Maureen Zebian in The Epoch Times (4 November 2004).
- Could it be ... that the hero is one who is willing to set out, take the first step, shoulder something? Perhaps the hero is one who puts his foot upon a path not knowing what he may expect from life but in some way feeling in his bones that life expects something of him.
- P. L. Travers, in "The World of the Hero" (1976)
- I need a hero, I'm holding out for at hero 'till the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 'till the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life, larger than life
- Do you know what the definition of a hero is? Someone who gets other people killed. You can look it up later.
- Zoe Washburne, in Serenity (2005), by Joss Whedon
- The goal of the hero is to return (normal) life to the living.
- Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Journey into the Void (2003)
- A hero's greatest act is to lay down his sword.
- From the film Hero
- You put your life on the line, no one really appreciates you enough for it. Being a hero isn't what it's cracked up to be anymore.
- In the real world, heroes don't look like me. In the real world, they got bad teeth, a bald spot and a beer gut. I'm just an actor with a gun, who's lost his motivation.
- Kyle Chandler as 'Bruce Baxter' in King Kong (2005)
- You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
- Harvey Dent/Two Face, The Dark Knight
- Maybe a real hero's the last one to hear about it.
- Wylie Burp, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 365-66.
- My valet-de-chambre sings me no such song.
- Tel maître, tel valet.
- As the master so the valet.
Like master, like man.
- Attributed to Chevalier Bayard by M. Ciniber
- As the master so the valet.
- Ferryman ho! In the night so black
Hark to the clank of iron;
'Tis heroes of the Yser,
'Tis sweethearts of glory.
'Tis lads who are unafraid!
- Lucien Boyer, La Maison du Passeur
- I want a hero: an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one.
- Worship of a hero is transcendent admiration of a great man.
- Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero-Worship, Lecture I
- If Hero mean sincere man, why may not every one of us be a Hero?
- Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero-Worship, Lecture IV
- Hero-worship exists, has existed, and will forever exist, universally among Mankind.
- Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Organic Filaments
- Il faut être bien héros pour l'être aux yeux de son valet-de-chambre.
- A man must indeed be a hero to appear such in the eyes of his valet.
- Marshal Catinat
- He's of stature somewhat low—
Your hero always should be tall, you know.
- Charles Churchill, The Rosciad (1761), line 1,029
- Il n'y a pas de grand homme pour son valet-de-chambre.
- No man is a hero to his valet.
- Mme. de Cornuel. See Mlle. Aissé—Letters. 161. (Paris, 1853)
- The hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head-winds right for royal sails.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, Heroism. Introduction
- Self-trust is the essence of heroism.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay, Heroism
- Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody, and to that person whatever he says has an enhanced value.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims (1876), Quotation and Originality
- Es gibt für den Kammerdiener keinen Helden.
- To a valet no man is a hero.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wahlverwandtschaften, II. 5. Aus Ottilien's Tagebüche
- But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow tones are heard
The thanks of millions yet to be.
- Fitz-Greene Halleck, Marco Bozzaris
- It hath been an antient custom among them [Hungarians] that none should wear a fether but he who had killed a Turk, to whom onlie yt was lawful to shew the number of his slaine enemys by the number of fethers in his cappe.
- Richard Hansard, Description of Hungary, Anno 1599. Lansdowne Manuscript, 775, Volume 149. British Museum
- The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck,
Shone round him o'er the dead.
* * * * *
The flames roll'd on—he would not go
Without his Father's word;
That Father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.
- Felicia Hemans, Casabianca
- Heroes as great have died, and yet shall fall.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book XV, line 157. Pope's translation
- Hail, Columbia! happy land!
Hail, ye heroes! heaven-born band!
Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause.
- Joseph Hopkinson—Hail, Columbia!
- Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Multi: sed omnes illacrimabiles
Urgentur, ignotique longa
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.
- Many heroes lived before Agamemnon, but they are all unmourned, and consigned to oblivion, because they had no bard to sing their praises.
- Horace, Carmina, IV. 9. 25
- The idol of to-day pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of to-morrow.
- Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, Westminster Abbey
- Still the race of hero spirits pass the lamp from hand to hand.
- Charles Kingsley, The World's Age
- Rarement ils sont grands vis-à-vis de leur valets-de-chambre.
- Rarely do they appear great before their valets.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Caractères
- There are heroes in evil as well as in good.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, No. 194
- Crowds speak in heroes.
- Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book IV, Chapter III
- There is never any real danger in allowing a pedestal for a hero. He never has time to sit on it. One sees him always over and over again kicking his pedestal out from under him, and using it to batter a world with.
- Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book V, Part III, Chapter XVI
- Dost thou know what a hero is? Why, a hero is as much as one should say,—a hero.
- 'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves
Of a legendary virtue carved upon our father's graves.
- James Russell Lowell, The Present Crisis, Stanza 15
- Tel a esté miraculeux au monde, auquel sa femme et son valet n'ont rien veu seulement de remarquable; peu d'hommes ont esté admirez par leur domestiques.
- Such an one has been, as it were, miraculous in the world, in whom his wife and valet have seen nothing even remarkable; few men have been admired by their servants.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book III, Chapter II
- See the conquering hero comes!
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums!
- Dr. Thomas Morell—Words used by Handel in Joshua, and Judas Maccabæus. (Introduced in stage version of Lee's Rival Queens, Act II, scene 1).
- My personal attendant does not think so much of these things as I do.
- Plutarch, De Iside, Chapter XXIV. Also in Regnum et Imperatorum. Apothegmata, II. 28. (Tauchnitz Ed)
- Do we weep for the heroes who died for us,
Who living were true and tried for us,
And dying sleep side by side for us;
The martyr band
That hallowed our land
With the blood they shed in a tide for us?
- Abram J. Ryan, C. S. A.
- He who dreamed of democracy, far back in a world of absolutism, was indeed heroic, and we of today awaken to the wonder of his dream.
- Louis Sullivan, in "Education" an address to the Architectural League of America, Toronto (1902), later published in Kindergarten Chats (revised 1918) and Other Writings (1947)
- The last flash … and the hideous attack
Dies like a wisp of storm—discouraged flame;
And soon these battered heroes will come back,
The same but yet not the same.
- Louis Untermeyer, Return of the Soldiers
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
- True heroism is alike positive and progressive. It sees in right the duty which should dominate, and in truth the principle which should prevail. And hence it never falters in the faith that always and everywhere sin must be repressed, and righteousness exalted.
- John McClellan Holmes, p. 312
- Never was there a time, in the history of the world, when moral heroes were more needed. The world waits for such, the providence of God has commanded science to labor and prepare the way for such. For them she is laying her iron tracks, and stretching her wires, and bridging the oceans. But where are they? Who shall breathe into our civil and political relations the breath of a higher life? Who shall touch the eyes of a paganized science, and of a pantheistic philosophy, that they may see God? Who shall consecrate to the glory of God, the triumphs of science? Who shall bear the life-boat to the stranded and perishing nations?
- Mark Hopkins, p. 312
- The courage of Daniel is true heroism. It is not physical daring, such as beneath some proud impulse will rush upon an enemy's steel; it is not reckless valor, sporting with a life which ill-fortune has blighted or which despair has made intolerable; it is not the passiveness of the stoic, through whose indifferent heart no tides of feeling flow; it is the calm courage which reflects upon its alternatives, and deliberately chooses to do right; it is the determination of Christian principle, whose foot resteth on the rock, and whose eye pierceth into heaven.
- William Morley Punshon, p. 313
- With quaint manners and quaint names these men had the hero's heart and the confessor's faith. Their faith was, indeed, their strength. Strong in the supremacy of conscience, in that real earnestness which springs from conviction, and which prompts to enterprise; far-sighted in political sagacity, because seeing Him that is invisible; shrewd enough to know that the truest policy for the life that now is, is a reverent recognition of the life that is to come, they were brave in endurance and patient under trial; and never losing sight of the principle for which they struggled, and of the purpose of their voyage afar, they " won the wilderness for God."
- William Morley Punshon, p. 313
- Don't aim at any impossible heroisms. Strive rather to be quiet in your own sphere. Don't live in the cloudland of some transcendental heaven; do your best to bring the glory of a real heaven down, and ray it out upon your fellows in this work-day world. Seek to make trade bright with a spotless integrity, and business lustrous with the beauty of holiness.
- William Morley Punshon, p. 313
- The grandest of heroic deeds are those which are performed within four walls and in domestic privacy.
- Jean Paul, p. 313
- The calm, tranquil energy of the Redeemer's soul; the deep strength of principle which nothing could shake; the serene courage which looked down upon menaces, clamor, contumely, sacrifice, death, — this is the temper which pours contempt upon the intrepidity of heroes, but which the Holy Spirit infuses into the humble Christian.
- Richard Fuller, p. 314