Many years ago, I was in a little shop buying an old cavalry sword as a gift for my father when I suddenly realized that I am the one who likes swords. I not only like them, but I love them. I love the nobility that the sword represents. That day, I started my own collection and now have the swords displayed on the walls of my dining room.
I believe the things that surround us while growing up will stay with us forever. In raising my daughter, I wanted her to grow up surrounded by symbols of greatness and beauty. In my foyer sits a large chest and on it I hand-painted a small Maltese cross and also the eight qualities of a knight — which each point on the cross represents. These qualities are loyalty, piety, generosity, courage, honor and glory, contempt of death, helpfulness and reverence for God; qualities of heroes in the truest sense. In a day of mostly negative news, there are heroes among us; heroes that will probably not make the evening news, heroes that mostly go unnoticed. I came across a quote, which I taped to my computer monitor that reads “Courage is not one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” I wish I knew the author because I have grown to appreciate its wisdom. The purpose of this website is to tell the stories of men and women who exemplify the qualities painted on that chest. Stories of brave people, past and present, who have been tested and found to be true. None of us know how we will respond if we are called to sacrifice our lives for another, or if we are called to show courage, of any kind, at the “testing point.” However, we can learn about those who have gone before us and pray that we will be able to follow their example to live, and perhaps die, as they have — valiantly.
G.K. Chesterton once said: “The true warrior fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” I once knew an officer in the USMC who said that the kind of people they look for in leadership are not the ones full of bravado, but the men and women who love their families, love their country, and are protective of others. In essence, it is not for their own glory that they fight, but for the things that they love more than their own lives … and that, my friend, is the stuff of heroes.
Loyalty, piety, generosity, courage, honor and glory, contempt of death, helpfulness and reverence for God.
A Valiant Life.
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