Letter to the Editor: Rekindling Our Commitment to Oaths

I recently read Liz Cheney’s book, Oath and Honor. Have you heard anyone talking about oath or honor lately? I haven’t. How sad.

Oaths are simple and go by many names. In church we called them creeds (“I believe in one God…”), or commandments (“Thou shalt not lie…”). In school we said the Pledge of Allegiance. In Boy Scouts we said the scout oath daily. When we got married we declared before God, our family and friends an oath to remain faithful to our spouse (“in sickness and health…”). In court we take an oath to “tell the truth, the whole truth…”.

Honor is tied to our oaths. Basically, our honor is whether we live up to our oaths every day. In church we are taught to examine our conscience.  In Boy Scout vespers we sang, “Have I kept my honor bright? Can I go to sleep tonight? My guess is these practices are not part of our daily routine anymore, and we suffer dearly from their loss.

Oath. Honor. The only place I hear these words regularly today is the military. Soldiers take an oath to protect our freedoms and many give their lives honoring that oath. It should give us pause. The only other place I hear those words poignantly used is the swearing in of the President of the United States – to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

That is what Liz Cheney wrote about. Read her book in preparation for your voting in the 2024 Presidential election. It should not only help elucidate who you will vote for, but could also rekindle your commitment to the oaths you have taken, and help you value honor once again. It did for me.

Patrick Cerra

Egg Harbor, Wisconsin