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Honoring Values at Our American Core

July 4, 2023
John Hairston
John Hairston

This Fourth of July, America celebrates 247 years as an independent Nation, a beacon of hope and opportunity for people around the globe.

We’re a country founded on liberty, equality, and justice. Far from simply words scribed on parchment, these ideals have profound meaning and make us the greatest democracy in the world. I believe our future remains bright because those fundamental rights and responsibilities our forebears set forth are our guiding lights, creating an ageless blueprint to stay strong and move forward together.

IMG_8162-1Those doctrines, much like the core values at the heart of Hancock Whitney, remind us of a founding vision for all of us, individually and as a Nation, to make differences that matter for all people.

In 1949, Leo W. Seal, Sr., our bank president from 1932 to 1963, addressed what was then approximately 60 total associates at our company. As I reflect on his comments — made when our country was just 173 and our bank merely 50 — I find his words seem to echo passion and principle similar to early American leaders’ expectations for a republic anchored in what’s right:

“Let me ask and implore you never to let your interest come ahead of your principle; never do something for expediency’s sake alone; never forget that the underlying principles of character are  love of truth, devotion to duty, respect for law, and the unselfish consideration of the rights of others. And, finally, let our hope for the future be that we may be successful without forgetting to be righteous; that we may enjoy pleasures and comforts without abuse; that we may be strong without being offensively proud; and that we may be broad minded without losing our faith.”

We at Hancock Whitney are proud and honored to be an American business. The freedoms we enjoy in our country are truly priceless, yet countless individuals have served, sacrificed, and paid an ultimate price to secure those liberties. We owe them and those who continue to defend and protect America our heartfelt respect, infinite gratitude, and solid personal and collective commitment to carry on all the good that the red, white, and blue of our grand flag represent.

This Independence Day, may you find time to celebrate America’s freedom with people most important to you and to perpetuate the ideals that have made and keep us free.