It’s hard to understand our lives without seeing that the human virtues are real and that they exist pretty much as Aristotle described them in The Nichomachaean Ethics. Aristotle’s understanding imprinted itself on the Founders of the United States. When progressive politicians, historians and social scientists denigrated the virtues in order to undermine the Founders’ handiwork, as they continue to do in our own day, John Ford sought to save the classic understanding in the form of the Western that he perfected in his moviemaking following his service under Bill Donovan in the OSS during World War II (as John Marini points out in his essay on Ford in Print the Legend).
Aristotle observed the virtues or their lack in history, in literature and in the men around him. We can observe the virtue of courage ourselves many times over in our history. Jake Tapper tells one story illustrating the virtue in The Outpost and in his CNN special on Clint Romesha, the hero of the battle of Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Below is part 1 of the special. Click here for part 2, here for part 3, here for part 4 and here for part 5.