Everybody loves a hero.  People considered as heroes are admired for their courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities.  They can serve as a model and inspiration to humanity.  They are also viewed as someone who does something great and exceptional without thinking of themselves.  Heroes have sacrificed their lives for a cause and for the greater good of the society.  They  fight for the right thing, may it be freedom or equality.

The World War 2 World War 2Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-world-war-ii-era-battle-image17602921was a global war that lasted for 6 years and was fought by 30 different countries under two opposing military alliances - the Allies and the Axis.  There are several men who were viewed as heroes after WWII.  Oskar Schindler, for example, rescued a thousand Jewish laborers from being detained and murdered by hiring them for his business. Chiune Sugihara chose to disobey the government and risked his life by issuing handwritten visas to many Jews and helped over 6,000 Jews in the process.  Most news and articles highlighted men as heroes during the WWII.  Here are some women who chose to stand up, fight and set an example during this time of war.

  • Virginia Hall – The Lady with the Limp

Virginia Hall wanted to join the Foreign Service but wasn’t able to do so because her leg was amputated due to a hunting incident.  When the war started, she made her way to London and volunteered to become a spy.  After her training, she entered France posing as a correspondent for the New York Post.  She used many aliases but the Germans called her “Artemis”.  Hall helped organize the French resistance, managed escape for downed fliers, carried out acts of sabotage and guerilla warfare, provided courier service for other agents, and obtained supplies for the clandestine presses and the forgers.  She was known to be the “Most Wanted Allied Spy”.

  • Nancy Wake – Most Decorated Woman of WWII

When Germany invaded France, Nancy Wake joined the French Resistance as a courier.  She smuggled food and messages to underground groups in Southern France.  Being married to a wealthy businessman, she used her money to buy an ambulance that will help refugees escape the Germans.  She also helped prisoners of war and downed Allied fliers to escape.  She was later captured but tricked the enemies into releasing her.  She received training equipping her with skills needed to be a spy and a fighter.  She was then sent to central France with the mission to organize and train the Resistance before the attack.

  • Irena Sendler – Angel of the Warsaw Ghetto

Irene Sendler was a proof that you don’t have to be a soldier to become a hero.  She was a Polish social worker and at the same time, the head of the children’s section of the resistance called Zegota.  During the start of the war, the Germans gathered the Jews into the ghetto and constructed walls around it.  Sendler, being a social worker, was allowed to go inside the ghetto. With the help of Zegota’s other members, she smuggled babies and small children out of the ghetto in boxes, suitcases and sacks disguised as packages.  She managed to smuggle 2,500 children and placed them in Polish families and orphanages.

Most people don’t view women as strong as men.  These heroines are just examples that women are as capable as men.  Helping other people or fighting for the right thing is difficult to do when your own life is at risk.  We have to find the willpower and courage within ourselves to choose the right path and maybe someday we can be heroes in our own little ways.