Jason Dunham, the local Western New York marine who died in the Iraq war to save his comrades from a grenade, had a Navy destroyer named after him this past week. “As long as there is a United States Marine Corps, Jason Dunham will be remembered,” said Brigadier General Joseph Dumford, the Marines’ director of operations
In the coming years I hope that Jason becomes one of those larger than life heroes in this area. Eventually, we need a big structure named after him. “The Dunham Signature Bridge” has a nice ring to it. Today’s society is focused on throwing accolades at sports and movie stars; but those people are celebrities, not heroes. The “Be like Mike” Gatorade commercials back in the early ‘90s used to make me cringe, that as a society we literally coronated Michael Jordan, a skilled basketball player but not a very good role model.
Jason, on the other hand, is a great role model. Not because he sacrificed his life but because he was willing to do so. His selflessness was apparent throughout his life – at least from the statements made by family and friends. Jason and people like him should be held in high esteem by those of us who remain behind. They are the ones who should be advertised on Wheaties boxes.
It’s a shame that Jason had to die for an unjust war. I believe that history will be kinder to him than to those who sent him to his death in the name of freedom.