The National Honor Society (NHS) Induction Ceremony was tonight, and I offered a little welcoming speech before we began the highly scripted ceremony that usually takes only 30 minutes. I thought that the additional five minutes of background material in the speech would give the audience a chance to settle in and plan camera angles.
I had looked at a number of words associated with the NHS such as “service” but found that word has its roots in the Old French servise or Latin serv-iT-ium for slave. That meaning did not seem appropriate, so I looked at other words words such as a trust or challenge, but the single most important word of the evening was also the most obvious…the word in the center of the society’s title, the word honor. My short speech centered on honor:
“Honor is also a word that is both noun and verb, but honor is a word that is single purposed. Its definition for either part of speech does not radically change.
As a noun, honor means:
1. high respect; esteem.
- a person or thing that brings credit.
- adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.
- a privilege.
- a thing conferred as a distinction, especially an official award for bravery or achievement.
- a special distinction for proficiency in an examination.
- a class or course of degree studies more specialized than that of the ordinary level.
As a verb, honor means to regard with great respect.
- pay public respect to.
- fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement).
Therefore, of all the words and definitions I have discussed, it is the word honor that carries the most significance this evening. You students will be joining the other 1 million members of the National Honor Society…the National high respect; esteem Society. The National fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement) Society.
The National Honor Society is more than just an honor roll; the National Honor Society serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
You students are here because you have achieved this honor.
We are here to honor you.”