The soldiers fighting on the frontlines today in what may prove to be a long fight against Islamofascists were groomed to be heroes.

That is a reality authors Neil Howe and William Strauss predicted six years ago in a book called Millennials Rising. A year before planes slammed into the World Trade Center, Howe and Strauss predicted that Millennials (those born in or after 1982) would be the next great generation -- on par with the GI generation and others who carried America through its greatest challenges. "Whether or not Millennials must ever respond to an epic crisis, history will propel them to be and do what Boomers and Gen Xers were not and did not do."

Now Millennials are responding. Many are suited up in combat gear and facing threats we could never imagine. Others are suited up in police and firefighter gear facing daily threats and future 9/11s. Of course, Millennials are not monolithic -- there are some who are burning up the blogosphere with vitriol against America and the fight we are in. Between those two groups within this "heroic" generation, it is the former who are actually living out the classic definition of hero -- someone who sacrifices.

On the fifth anniversary of the epic crisis that is propelling Millennials into history, here's an almost century-old quote from Teddy Roosevelt for those heroes:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
"Citizenship in a Republic," Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910