Each of the five candles used in tonight’s ceremony symbolizes a particular characteristic of a National Honor Society member, namely, Scholarship, Leadership, Character, and Service.
The gold candle portrays the lustre of the riches of scholoarship. It is significant that the symbol of worldly wealth should be chosen to represent this ideal since scholars are not just born but are the product of diligent effort and much refinement.
Even as far back in history as the days of Rome’s world supremacy, the color purple was the sign of royalty. The purple borders on togas denoted the magestrates of the cities and provinces. And so tonight, the purple candle represents the leadership abilities of the inductees.
Green — trees budding, grass growing, signs of spring and new life…such is the color of the candle of character, the “grass roots” of one’s very self — his values, his beliefs, his attitues, and his actions. Constantly growing and maturing, molded by the influences of family, friends, education, and society iteself, one’s character becomes the very essence of a person. May the green candle reflect firm foundational values.
And what could the red candle possibly signify? Could it represent the blood, sweat, and tears of the physical struggle to preserve and protect ourselves, our neighbors, our heritage? Like the Red Cross, service is the purpose of the National Honors Society. It demands a physical commitment from its memberts to use our combined resources for the benefit of humanity.
At times, used to symbolize purity, peace, unity, even life itself, the white candle represnents the never-ending quest for truth and knowledge. If the flame of this candle is allowed to flicker and die, so diminishes and passes our opportunity for a truely humane society. But does its flame merely symbolize truth and knowledge? Does it not also represent man’s greatest gift? That one light which led him through the dardk ages, through wars and depressions, through personal suffering? Yes, the true significance of the white candle, even of this entire ceremony itself, lies in the existence of the light of hope.