In all the Marvel and DC universes, the group of heroes or warriors that impress me the most is the Green Lantern Core. While an individual Green Lantern is not as strong as Superman or as godlike as Thor, they remind me of the real life soldiers that serve their individual citizens with the same passion. Unlike the aforementioned Superman and Thor, a Green Lantern life is always in clear and present danger every time he takes on a mission. The true embodiment of a hero is in just that, putting your life on the line for people who you do not know, knowing there might not be a return. Heroes boldly step into vulnerability for the sake of justice.
I remember the first time I heard the Green Lantern oath:
“In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might Beware my power–Green Lantern’s light!”
I was about about three to four months removed from my home country of Sierra Leone, and hearing it immediately took me to a night that I will never forget. It was January 6, 1999 when the rebel forces invaded the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown. I still to this day remember the smell of burning tires, the seemingly never-ending sound of gun fire, the screams of people in utter chaos, and the feeling of total hopeless helplessness. I remember my 8 year old self laying under my bed thinking about the unstoppable darkness and chaos all around me. I worried about the bad men outside that had nobody to answer to. I had heard stories about them raping, killing, and dismembering entire families. I wondered who would be brave enough to stand up to people like that. This was truly my darkest night.
But the oath also takes me back to the liberation of the capital of Freetown, and the soldiers that bravely faced evil’s strongest might. Maybe it’s the green camouflage or the same feeling of selfless sacrifice and courage, but I always think of soldiers as real life Green Lanterns. They are heroes. The soldiers came in and brought light to my darkest night. Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice for a kid and his family hiding under a bed. I will never know them or the loved ones they left, and they will never know me or my family, but I owe them everything that’s under this light that surrounds me today.
There are countless stories like mine through many wars and times, but the constant being the brave man and women sacrificing everything for people they barely know, going against all human instinct of self-preservation to stand for what’s right.
So this Memorial Day I want to give props to all military past and present, throughout the world for being the brave beacon of light, and refusing to let justice die. This is to the warriors who have sacrificed so much for causes greater than themselves and opposing all those who worship evil’s might. This is for the few who fought for liberty with courage and valor. I wish my words could express how deeply my appreciation and admiration spreads, but the best I can do is say props and thank you.