Today is July 4th. Independence Day, and the birthday of Steve Rodgers or Captain America.
Cap'n is my favorite Avenger. And it's not just the man in the suit, or Chris Evans.
It's his character.
Captain America begins as Steve Rodgers, a man who wants to serve his country, but lots of obstacles stand in the way. He is physically weak, he has asthma, and he loses a lot of fights with bullies. But he doesn't give up. He goes to many army enlisting booths and changes his name, age, health and tries until he gets caught by Dr. Eskvine.
Doctor Erskine asks him why he wants to enlist in the army, and this is Steve's response.
"I don't want to kill anyone. I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from."
It is this repsonse that convinces Erskine to choose Steve Rodgers to be first super soldier.
Despite Erskine's choice, Steve doesn't pass challenging physical tests, but the moment he takes a "grenade" for the team, his true strength is revealed: the test of character.
Before Steve takes the serum, and becomes a super soldier, Doctor Erskine tells him:
"The serum amplifies everything that is inside, so good becomes great; bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen. Because the strong man who has known power all his life, may lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows... compassion."
As Chris Evans says, "He's good for the sake of good." This is why Captain America is such an amazing character. He does the right thing, and he never gives up.
Once he finds out that his best friend Bucky has been captured, he goes after him, proving that he can lead troops into battle and stop Schimdt from conquering the world.
Once he suceeds in saving Bucky, Steve becomes the soldier he always wanted to be, and more than that, a captain.
He also teams up with the incredible Peggy Carter, and he defies more and more of Schmidt's plans for HYDRA. But when Steve loses Bucky, he becomes even more determined to foil Schimdt's plans.
But the ultimate act of good for good's sake is when Steve manually crashes Schimdt's plane to save millions of lives from the bombs that Schimdt set up in the plane.
Captain America saved the world, but he paid a price: seventy years of his life.
He wakes up in modern day America, with a new goal- to maintain the dream he had and to adapt to the changes that the world has gone through while he was gone.
The first challenge he faces after waking up is to work with others on the Avengers project.
He gets a lot of slack from the other heros for being old fashioned, but as Agent Coulson put it, "The world could use a little old fashioned."
SHEILD wants him to work for them, but Steve doesn't trust their secrets.
He goes to Peggy and tells her, "For as long as I can remember I just wanted to do what was right. I guess I'm not quite sure what that is anymore."
A new challenge is presented to Steve when SHEILD is comprimised, and he faces his most challenging enemy, his best friend Bucky, brainwashed and weaponized.
Steve must determine what he believes is the right thing to do, and he decides to stay true to himself and do what he believes is right.
In that moment, Steve Rodgers is himself again, and he knows what he wants to do.
Before Doctor Erskine gave Steve the serum he said, "I want you to promise me one thing. No matter what happens after tomorrow, you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man."
Captain America is a great hero because he strives to be the best he can be. This is an admirable trait, and the mark of a great hero.