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Word of the Week: Honor
Georgia Military College Prep School
Word of the Week: Honor
Week of August 30 – September 5, 2015
Definition: honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a source of credit or distinction: high respect, as for worth, merits, or rank
“Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are.” - Thomas Carlyle
“If it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul.” - Shakespeare
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge
“He who has lost honor can lose nothing more.” – Publilius Syrus
“Who sows virtue reaps honor.” – Leonardo di Vinci
Getting to the point:
This week’s reflection written by Mr. Bobby Mercer’s granddaughter encapsulates this character trait like no other. One can see how honorable he was by her words and if you knew him, you also knew by his actions. Honor means so much to a veteran, but it should mean just as much to each one of us. If we are not honorable in all that we do, then we are fooling ourselves and those around us. Honor is a not a trait to be taken lightly. There are too many examples in today’s media of people not being honorable and doing what is right.
Putting Words into Action:
Do the right thing. Be honorable in all that you do. Honor is something you cannot give fifty percent. In business or life or school, honor is recognized as a trait that stands out amongst the others. If you lack this trait in any area of your life, it will bleed over into other areas as well. So before you go cutting corners think about what you are doing and is it the honorable thing to do.
Think About It:
Every day people are cheated by those being dishonest. Older people are bamboozled by scam artists and rooked out of their hard earned savings. How those people can live with themselves is beyond me. Those of honor would not take advantage of those less fortunate. If anything, those people of honor will go out of their way to help others.
Any time I hear or read the word “honor,” I remember the day on which I stood at a shaky, butchered position of attention at the front of the Williams’ funeral home chapel. One hand held a weary salute, the other holding my hanging medals in place to keep them from clacking on my chest while tears racked my body. There were two other soldiers also standing at the front, probably looking much sharper and mentally disciplined than I—I couldn’t look at them because I was sobbing so much—and they stood directly across from one another, one at each end of the casket. The flag which draped it was bright and proud, just like the man who lay inside of the casket.
Inside of that casket was my grandfather, Bobby Mercer, laid to his final rest.
To say that my grandfather was a patriotic man would be an understatement. Bobby Mercer was more than that; a man with true zeal for his beliefs and the American ways. If you’ve ever sat inside his barber shop and looked at the wall opposite the three barber chairs, you’d know that—you would have seen that wall bedecked in Army posters, pictures of Confederate officers, the Airborne patches tacked in place near his own photograph from his active service days, all scattered between his family pictures. If you’ve ever sat and listened to him talk about modern and traditional politics with his friends and heard the passion in his voice while he was trimming hair, you would know that. If you have heard the stories about him from people around town, they would all tell you of the fierce, undying loyalty he had for the country he had always called home. Above everything that he was loyal, zealous, passionate, and unmoving in his patriotic stance, he was a man of honor. Honor for both his own military service and that of his comrades, honor for the lives claimed on behalf of the nation’s flag, honor for the American way of life, and most of all, honor for the country he would have laid down his life for in a heartbeat.
I know that standing up and saluting my grandfather at his funeral might have been moving to the other mourners in attendance. It might have been enough to bring back a few tears as I sit here and write this article. I also know that it would never be enough to repay him for the life he dedicated to the love of his country and the honor which he held in the highest regards. Even so, that was the way that I honored him and the life he led every day.
C/CPT Emma Mercer is a student at Georgia Military College Prep School