Dafydd Neal Dyar (dafydd@dyarstraights.com)
Fri, 30 Mar 2001 12:17:39 -0800


On Thu, 29 Mar 2001 22:22:11 -0800, Juan Alberto B. Mercado wrote:

> Bernie and Chris did what they had to. As for "why" Bernie had to
> do it, well the answer is simple. He is a real man and he had the
> balls to go out there and finish what he started.

Quite the opposite, actually. Or, rather, he was a "real man" because he
recognized a larger responsibility, more important than his own life, and didn't
shirk from doing what had to be done to fulfill it.

The fact that he was mistaken only makes it more ironic and tragic.

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What it comes down to is that both Chris and Bernie had the same motivation,
which was to prevent any further unnecessary loss of civilian lives.

For Chris, it was a matter of all those innocent bystanders injured or killed
during the assault on the Federation base by the Cyclops team in Episode 4. As
the Riah police officer tells her in Episode 5, this skirmish resulted in 818
casualties: 246 dead and 572 injured. This would be just the civilians, of
course -- the figure goes up to 821 (249 dead) when you add it the Cyclops Team,
although the official final tally is probably an even 820, because Bernie took
Steiner away with him and buried him in a secret grave in the forest/park.

Consequently, Chris later decided to follow the Bernie's Zaku into an obvious
trap, in violation of direct orders to disengage and stay in the open, because
it would be down to just the two of them -- no more civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, Bernie had found out about the nuclear missile that would be fired
upon the colony in order to destroy the Gundam. His first thought was to flee,
but at the spaceport he's reminded that running away won't change anything. He
decides to try and take out the Gundam even if it costs him his on life, in the
hope that taking away the Gundam will remove the motivation for destroying the
colony and halt the imminent attack.

Both act heroically because both act unselfishly and, more to the point, put
themselves in harm's way solely to protect someone else.

That's what heroism is all about, really -- not bravery or courage or taking
action per se, but facing the certainty of personal injury or death on behalf of
another.

-Z-

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