One of the most moving moments during this year's State of the Union address was when U.S. Army Ranger Sergeant Cory Remsburg received a two minute standing ovation after being praised by President Obama.
Remsburg was nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2009. As ABC News reports, the explosion left him in a three-month coma and rendered him partially-paralyzed and brain damaged. After daily physical and speech therapy, Remsburg can walk and speak again.
Obama used the solider as a symbol of how America "never gives up" and "does not quit."
But was he right to invoke Remsburg this way?
The "hero in the balcony" has been a feature of nearly every State of the Union address since Ronald Reagan pointed to Lenny Skutnik in 1982 to commend him for rescuing a woman in the freezing Potomac river after a plane crash.
There's no argument that it was a very emotional moment. As Andrew Sullivan noted, "I've heard several presidents invoke military heroism in their speeches. I cannot recall one so moving."
But there was something also very different about Remsburg.
The politicians who spent two minutes saluting Remsburg seemed to evade responsibility for putting him there in the first place.
Sure Remsburg could be a symbol of a nation that doesn't quit. But he could also be a symbol of a nation that sometimes makes tragic mistakes as well.