Irish American MSNBC host Chris Hayes has apologized for stating that calling downed American soldiers “heroes” made him uncomfortable.

Hayes (33), on his show “Up with Hayes” over Memorial Day weekend stated it is "very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words 'heroes.'

"I feel ... uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war."

Hayes has called his father, ex-Jesuit seminarian, Roger Hayes, who is an Irish American Democratic activist from Chicago, his hero in the past.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) slammed Hayes for his comments. VFW called for an "immediate and unequivocal apology," saying  his remarks were, "reprehensible and disgusting."

Hayes stated on Monday that he is "deeply sorry" for the gaffe.

"As many have rightly pointed out, it's very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation's citizens as a whole," he said.

"One of the points made during Sunday's show was just how removed most Americans are from the wars we fight, how small a percentage of our population is asked to shoulder the entire burden and how easy it becomes to never read the names of those who are wounded and fight and die, to not ask questions about the direction of our strategy in Afghanistan, and to assuage our own collective guilt about this disconnect with a pro-forma ritual that we observe briefly before returning to our barbecues.

"But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry."

MSNBC anchor Chris HayesGoogle Images