A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 04, 2013
“Real heroes don’t wear capes—they wear dog tags”

"Real heroes don’t wear capes—they wear dog tags” has been printed on many gift items, such as T-shirts and bumper stickers. “Real heroes don’t wear capes or leap tall buildings in a single bound”—a reference to Superman—was cited in print in October 2004 in a newspaper story about an ambulance “looking for heroes.” “Real heroes don’t wear capes” was cited in regard to firefighters in 2007.

“Real heroes don’t wear capes—they wear dog tags”—the military version—has been cited since at least 2011.


Patriot Depot
Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes T-Shirt (Black)

Google News Archive
21 October 2004, Glenville (WV) Democrat, “Gilmer County Ambulance Looking for ‘Heroes” (tentative),” pg. 5B, col. 1:
All it takes is someone who cares and a little bit of training. Real heroes don’t wear capes or leap tall buildings in a single bound. Real heroes jump into an ambulance when the tones go off and get your family member to the hospital when they need medical care.

OCLC WorldCat record
Real heroes don’t wear capes.
Author: South Carolina. Dept. of Public Safety.
Publisher: Columbia, S.C. : South Carolina Department of Public Safety, ©2007.
Edition/Format: Book : State or province government publication : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Real heroes don’t wear capes
Author: Laura Driscoll; Amy Wummer
Publisher: New York : Kane Press, ©2007.
Series: Social Studies connects. 
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : Primary school : English
Summary: Ethan sets out to bring fame and recognition to his pogo-stick hero, Boyd “Boing” Bower, but discovers that being a hero means more than being famous.

zazzle
Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes Poster
Product ID: 228264559258001564
Made on: 6/3/2009 9:41 AM

The Pink Girl
29 October 2011
Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes
(...)
Because real heroes don’t wear capes; they wear dog tags.

Sweet Tea in Siciliy
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes, They Wear Dog Tags
So, I didn’t get my Veteran’s Day post up like I had planned…

THe Big Dollop
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes - They Wear Dog Tags
Although I am in the middle of a blogging sabbatical, it would be somewhat obtuse of the Big Dollop if I were not to pass comment on tragic events which resulted in the death of six British soldiers who were killed after their patrol vehicle was destroyed by a huge Taliban bomb in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

Nashoba Publishing (MA)
‘Real heroes wear dogtags, not capes’
By Katrina Drew, Correspondent
Posted:  06/07/2013 07:32:40 AM EDT
AYER—Page Hilltop School Principal Fred Deppe considers Memorial Day to be one of the nation’s most memorable holidays.

“It is our opportunity to recognize, remember and applaud our true American heroes—all of the men and women who have served our country.” He continued, “In Ayer, this tradition of honoring the memory of all military personnel has deep roots, founded in the heritage of neighboring Fort Devens.”
(...)
Benson added a sentiment she has often expressed to her own children. “Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear dogtags.”

Los Angeles (CA) Times
At Arizona firefighters memorial, mourners display their grief
By John M. Glionna
July 3, 2013, 6:00 a.m.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - They were simple yet personalized images of grief - shovels, crosses and toy firetrucks - assembled on a chain-link fence that served as the canvas for a town’s collective sorrow over its lost crew of firefighters.
(...)
There were firefighter caps, T-shirts and American flags with notes written along the white stripes, including one that read “Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes” and “Brothers in Spirit; Rest in Peace Together.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, July 04, 2013 • Permalink