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Lookups spiked on September 11, 2013.


Hero was used this week in many commemorations and remembrances of the 9/11 attack.

First responders and military personnel are often referred to as "heroes," but many stories about the heroes of 9/11 focused on ordinary people – office workers, bystanders – who risked and gave their lives to help others.

This use is supported by the original definition of hero: "a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities."

Hero comes from a Greek word that originally referred to men of superhuman strength or courage.