In the U.S. military there is a medal given for acts of valor. It’s called the Congressional Medal of Honor. Historical facts about its beginnings in the 1800s show how our country’s leadership wanted to recognize noble acts of service and at first it was given generously. In time it was noted that this medal should stand out above other emblems of service and specific changes were made to the conditions of how it would be awarded.
New regulations…Established that Medals of Honor could only be awarded for “gallantry and intrepidity” above and beyond that of one’s fellow soldiers,…Required that a submission for the Medal of Honor be made by a person other than the veteran who had performed the heroic deed,…Required the testimony, under oath, of one or more eyewitnesses to the heroic deed.
Testimonies to date of those who received this medal have become quite solemn. Many have been awarded posthumously. I cannot express enough my respect to these recipients for their acts of heroism and I quickly become choked up when I think about the many men and women who have gone before me to give part or even all of their lives for my freedom. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”*
Today I also contemplate the unrecognized heroes. Those who have done acts of valor but no earthly witnesses were present to testify to man of their heroism. They will not wear a medal here upon earth. Instead they are watched and validated by the “great cloud of witnesses” with which we are surrounded.
Honor is a medal itself and what we do daily gives merit to how we can wear one of our own, either here or in heaven.*John 15:13, 1 John 3:16b, Heb 12:1 http://www.cmohs.org/medal-history.php