National Superhero Day Goes Viral – Thank You to All the Real Life Heroes
When the clock strikes 7 p.m., cheering, clapping and virtual high-fiving erupts on streets and sidewalks across the country in honor of those fighting – and supporting the fight against – the coronavirus. Doctors and nurses. Grocery-store clerks, stockers and suppliers. Delivery drivers. They and other “essential” employees have been the nation’s lifeblood during an unprecedented pandemic that has turned into a war with an invisible enemy.
On April 28, however, the 7 p.m. ritual lasted 24 hours. The date marked National Superhero Day, an annual event that, in “normal” times, gives the young and the young at heart an opportunity to pay tribute to the comic-book characters they grew up knowing and loving. Spiderman and Superman. Batman, Batwoman and Batgirl. Wonder Woman.
“National Superhero Day falls on April 28 this year,” states a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals blog titled “Honor Your Heroes on National Superhero Day.” “The holiday began in 1995 when employees at Marvel Comics decided it would be fun to have a day dedicated to the characters in the stories they created. They sent a team of interns out into central Pennsylvania to research how people felt about superheroes and what they thought the most interesting super powers were. Over time, the meaning of the holiday grew to include heroes both real and fictional. It’s a day to honor the people who serve their communities and embody what a hero should be.
“In years past, it became a tradition that volunteers would go out to children’s hospitals dressed up as superheroes to spend time with kids and brighten their days,” the blog continues. “This year, unfortunately, COVID-19 has prevented those volunteers from being heroes to kids who need treatment. That doesn’t mean they are without heroes, though.”
The super powers that Spiderman, who climbs buildings and casts webs, Superman, who can fly, and Batman, Batwoman and Batgirl, who have high-tech gear stored in their utility belt, possess differ from the super powers of the men and women on the front lines, but they are super powers nonetheless.
“The kids who come through the doors of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the US and Canada are heroes and they are surrounded by heroes and heroines from the second they enter,” according to the blog. “Doctors, nurses, and the support staff handling administration do their best every day to make sure that the children they are treating know they are cared for and loved. Even during a pandemic, our healthcare heroes are treating chronic illnesses, unexpected injuries, and common infections. Despite the massive strain COVID-19 has put on everyone who goes into work at the hospital every day, the wellbeing of kids remains their number one priority. Especially now, our healthcare workers are absolutely superheroes saving the lives of people in danger.”
Hospitals in all 50 states have healthcare workers treating not only children with chronic illnesses but also sick adults who have contracted COVID-19. Many facilities face a shortage of gloves, gowns and masks, are overrun with patients and do not have enough ventilators. Yet the brave individuals in scrubs show up and do their best to save lives.
“…today we acknowledge the real-life Superheroes in our own communities that are taking supportive action during this unprecedented time,” reads an article on the Guinness World Records Web site titled “National Superhero Day: Celebrating the Superheroes in our communities.” “Among these real-life Superheroes are those courageous individuals who are working on the front lines both in the healthcare profession and beyond – today we celebrate you. Your dedication and commitment to supporting your community has been a true inspiration that continues to amaze us each day.”
National Superhero Day became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter. Acme Markets (@acmemarkets) tweeted, “Today is National Superhero Day and we want to thank our superheroes for taking care of our customers and community daily. Thank you for all that you do!” Orange County Florida (@orangecofl) tweeted, “Not all superheroes wear capes. Happy #NationalSuperHeroDay to our healthcare professionals and frontline workers. We are forever grateful for your dedication and service to Orange County.” The American Heart Association (@american_heart) tweeted, “There is so much we each want to say to the everyday superheroes of #COVID19, saying thank you is the best place to start.”
Marvel Entertainment (@marvel), ESPN (@espn) and DC Universe (@thedcuniverse) also tweeted as did the American Federation of Teachers (@sharemylesson).
“It’s #NationalSuperHeroDay! A huge thank you to our teachers, faculty and school staff helping students learn, now more than ever. Amazing job!”