The last line of the Declaration of Independence is often over shadowed by the rest of this powerful document.
As the Declaration begins, our founding Fathers set down a path that was treasonous to the crown. As they, point by point outlined the reasons to declare Independence from the crown, they were driven deeper and deeper into certain trouble. Knowing the committment that they had for the cause of freedom they write; “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
They knew full well that in the end this declaration was the nails that would seal their coffins. They pledged their sacred Honor.
Well what does that mean? Honor means to be fair, to be accountable, to maintain integrity in one’s beliefs and actions, to be a credit to. Yes, by definition our founding Fathers demonstrated a great deal of honor.
When we pledge the Scout Oath, we start by saying “On my Honor”… But do we have the same level of committment that our founding Fathers had.. at least intellectually? When we make a promise, do we keep it? When we say that “On my honor, I will do my best”.. do we? Are we accountable for our actions, do we maintain integrity in our beliefs? Are we a credit to our families, our organizations and our selves? These are questions that I wonder if the founding Fathers contemplated as they sat and wrote the declaration. I wonder if they had trust that each and every one of the signers understood and believed as they did. Deep in my mind I think the answer is yes. Another time and place maybe? No, I don’t think so. I think that Honor is just as alive today as it was on the 4th of July in 1776.
What I do think is that we don’t hold each other as accountable in its practice.
When our Scouts raise that right hand and say the Scout Oath.. it’s not just words that get the meeting started, it is our sacred honor. It is a promise, a pledge, an Oath that means something.
Have a Safe Independence Day Weekend! Think about where we would have been had these brave men not pledged their Sacred Honor.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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