The Corner

Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for three honorable lives that have ended in the three months just past.

In October, it was Professor Derek Brewer, formerly Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, who served as an infantry officer in North Africa and Italy with the Worcestershire Regiment and 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, then went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied under C.S. Lewis. He spent much his life teaching and writing about honor in the literature of the Middle Ages, especially Chaucer and Malory.

In September, it was my father, V.V. Bowman Jr., who fought as an enlisted man with the 41st, “Jungleer” division in the Philippines and later took part in the occupation of Japan before leaving the Army, aged 20, as a master sergeant. I only found out after he died, that he was awarded the bronze star.

In August it was NR’s own Peter Rodman, about whom Henry Kissinger said at his memorial service that, “For Peter, the question of courage never arose, because he never saw any alternative to doing his duty.”

Without the honor that lives on in the example of these three lives, the world would be a poorer place. Ave atque vale.

James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of Honor: A History.

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