I think you first have to define "hero" to your own satisfaction.
Definition 1 refers to the characters in heroic poetry, such as Achilles, Odysseus, Beowulf, and others.
Definition 2 is how I myself would define hero for today's world. The other definitions seem to be today's pop culture definitions, not coming close to definitions 1 and 2.
Think about these:
*NYPD and FDNY personnel and military personnel who ran INTO the WTC buildings and the Pentagon on Sept 11, 2001, while everyone else was trying to get out.
*The men on United 73 who decided to keep that hijacked flight from destroying their target building in Washington, DC, on Sept. 11, 2001.
*Many unnamed military personnel in any war you care to name who fell on grenades or other weapons to keep others safe.
I'm sure you can think of others. Those are a few very well known examples.
In recent times, some terms have become politized to the point of having no meaning.
War is no longer declared by Congress, so we have the War on Drugs, the War on Proverty, and the real war (Operation Freedom et al) are not declared wars).
So on the use of "heroes": Cancer victims are hailed as heroes, combat deaths are hailed as heroes (even when they died from natural causes or accidents), and so on.
The terms become foggy. So we look to the myths of fiction (movies and books) to make heroes. I think the answer is yes, but we seldom recognize those folks who give up their lives. Remember the Nun in Brazil (Dorthy Stang) who recently was murdered for her protecting the lives of native Amazon tribes from Lumbering and charcoal business interests?
Or what about missionary nurse Bonnie Penner, operating a free clinic in Lebanon, who was shot in the head three times as she opened her door to treat the sick, just because she was a Christian nurse working in a Muslim part of the city?
I could give many examples, and you can find them also. Recognizing heroic acts, and courage is still needed, even if the terms have been perversed to meaningless.
Good luck on this. I would like to see your final written product.
i'm going to ask my teacher what her definition of "hero" then decide.
thanks alot for your answers