Heroes that actually deserve the name

There are relatively few people in this world today who impress me enough for me to call them heroes. But they exist. Belatedly, imperfectly, incompletely, I would like to thank them for inspiring me and encouraging me to expect more and better things.

Here, in no particular order, are some of them. Please help me fill in the names I will inevitably overlook.

That list is far too short, I know. I think I could include most or all of the FreeThought Bloggers (which is truly awesome in the most literal sense of the word), and probably a lot more outside my immediate circle. I do tend to get wrapped up in work and family and other mundane issues, and I frankly miss a lot of what’s going on in the online community. The above names are just some of the people who have struck me most recently and/or most enduringly for their courage and tenacity under incredible hostility.

My apologies to all those whose names belong on the list and aren’t there. I hope to see some of them in the comments (though I’ll probably slap myself when I see them and think, “Oh, duh, how could I miss THAT one!?”).