Admiral William H. McRaven and Walter Isaacson (Photo: Holly Reed, NA)
It’s been ten years since Admiral McRaven launched the successful raid against Osama bin Laden. And it’s been a few years since he extolled us to “make our beds” as a way to get the day started with an accomplishment. To us he is a hero, but as as a young boy growing up in Texas, Bill McRaven only dreamed of being a superhero. He longed to put on a cape and use his superpowers to save the Earth from destruction. But as he grew older and traveled the world, he found real heroes everywhere he went—and none of them had superpowers, much less capes or cowls. But each possessed qualities that gave them the power to help others, to make a difference, to save the world: courage, both physical and moral; humility; a willingness to sacrifice; and a deep sense of integrity. Turns out, the hero code is not a cypher, a puzzle, or a secret message. It is a code of conduct; lessons in virtues that can become the foundations of our character as we build a life worthy of honor and respect.
Join Admiral McRaven, U.S. Navy (Ret.)-- in conversation with Walter Isaacson, author and professor of history at Tulane University-- about what it means to be a hero. Given his record of service to his country as leader of the United States Special Operations Command, it’s not a cliché to say it takes one to know one.
His book The Hero Code: Lessons Learned From Lives Well Lived (Grand Central Publishing) is available for purchase.
Book Sale Information
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.