Last night I had the privilege of taking part in an Eagle Court of Honor for a young man with whom I have worked in both Scouting and Church over the past year. During the Eagle ceremony there were repeated references to the words 'sacred honor' as contained in the immortal doctrine of the Declaration of Independence. Listening to this term repeated several times, and given its importance to life in this country and in the world I had a question about it.
The founding fathers who signed their names to this doctrine stated that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. My question for you this week is what does that mean to you? When you think of the term sacred honor, what kind of images or thoughts does it bring to mind?
For myself I was highly honored that this young Eagle Scout offered to me the Eagle Scout Mentor pin. This is an honor bestowed on one whom the Eagle Scout deems to be a person who has had a lasting positive impact on not only their Scouting, but their life. I felt at the moment that he offered me the pin that my Sacred Honor was to uphold this standard of loyalty, honor, cheerfulness, and the other standards that set Scouts apart from their peers. It was an honor that to me was greater than the Eagle Scout badge itself.
To me Sacred Honor is a pledging of all that you are for a cause that is just, for the word sacred (according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary) means something that is 'highly valued and important'. I would think that the founding fathers meant that freedom from persecution and government without representation was a cause that inspired them to offer up something that was very sacred to them, and that is their very lives. While few of them were required to give their lives, it was this that inspired them.
So, what does this mean to you, and perhaps to what would you pledge your Sacred Honor?
Additionally, imagine how you would have felt and what you might have said under the same circumstances, here is a little tidbit on a few things that the signers said:
[John Hancock] signed in enormous letters so "that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward." Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."