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Today an icon has fallen.

For nearly sixty years Captain America has stood for justice, idealism, and patriotism. This week Marvel Comics has announced that his story has finally ended. This week super-soldier Steve Rogers, defender of the ideals of America, dies to an assassin’s bullet.

I have long had an affinity for the Captain, ever since my grade school friends assigned his character to me in our superhero games. Although a comic book novice, I was quick to admire his loyalty and dedication to principal as it was described to me by more comic-literate friends.

Through the years, I continued to be intrigued by the idea of a man who would take on the often unpopular cause and colors of a nation. A man who’s only weapon was a shield.

My fascination came full circle when I joined the Marines. In that elite company I discovered the amazingly unglamorous nature of defending democracy. And although driven to face the limits of my own non-superheroic mortality, somehow I identified with the Captain even more.

Today America is split over the definition and responsibilities of both idealism and patriotism. It is sadly ironic that now, when we could most use a hero the Captain falls, leaving us to find our own way.

I feel like I have lost a friend.

We’ll miss you Cap.

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Anyone searching this post for a punch line won’t find one.

-B