Tuesday, May 21, 2013


In early medieval times, one's "honour" (honor) was defined as the group of manors or lands one held. Thus an honor was an estate that gave the owner a certain dignity and status. Hence if one would say, "on my honor" he was pledging his estate as surety that he would fulfill his pledge or forfeit the estate. To pledge one's honor was not something taken lightly.

Medieval knights lived their lives by a code of honor, commonly known as the Knight's Code of Chivalry. Among the various nuances of the Code of Chivalry, the concept of "honor" was at the core. Knights vowed to respect and protect the honor of women, guard the honor of fellow knights and live an honorable life in word and deed.

Today a man of honor is one worthy of respect, usually having earned it through honest actions, high morals, and fair dealings.

When a man of honor pledges "on my honor," he no longer pledges on his estate, but on his reputation and good name. A man of honor will keep his pledge or forfeit his position of honor.

As the United States honors fallen veterans, it is fitting we look beyond the sacrifice they made -- beyond their military record -- instead, we need to look at the person inside the uniform.

There we will discover a person of honor. We will find a person worthy of respect, which has been earned through honest dealings; a person of high morals who treats others fairly. And just like the medieval knights, we will see a person who is honest and upright, defending his country, preserving the dignity of others, living a life of integrity and worthy of emulation.

It is altogether fitting we honor our fallen comrades. However, thankfully, one does not have to fall in battle to be a person of honor.

Men, let us strive to live honorable lives. Let us be fair, just and respectful. Let us pledge to uphold the honor of those unable to defend themselves. Let us respect and defend the honor of all women. Let us be true leaders in our family, in our community, and in our workplace who daily display honor and respect.

Let us take seriously the promise, "on my honor," and by our actions and attitudes live lives worthy of honorable mention.

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