One of the rules of the road is that if you want to create the sense of silence, it frequently has more pungency if you include the tiniest of sounds. By manipulating what you hear and how you hear it and what other things you don't hear, you can not only help tell the story, you can help the audience get into the mind of the character.
Americans have a profound longing for heroes - now perhaps more than ever. We need our explorers, our sports icons, our Medal of Freedom winners, our Nobel laureates. We need our Greatest Generation warriors, our 'Sully' Sullenbergers, our Neil Armstrongs. On some level, we still subscribe to the myth of the man in the white hat.