Beyond the call of duty

Posted by EAC on January 25, 2004

In Reply to: Light at the end posted by ESC on January 25, 2004

: : I need to know when 2 phrases originated:

: : "light at the end of the tunnel"
: : "beyond the call of duty"

: : Thanks for the help.

: THERE'S ALWAYS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL - "Remain hopeful: there's always something good and useful after a long period of hardship and despair. The proverb, which has been traced back to about 1922, was popularized by John F. Kennedy in 1962." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

I couldn't find a thing in my references for "beyond the call of duty" or "call of duty," even in "Fighting Words."

I found this in a history of The Medal of Honor at but I wouldn't think it was the first use of the term:

"...After the war, it was commonplace for veterans to lobby their congressmen for the medal. Combat veterans, however, resented the easy way the medal was given out to men 'who were only doing their duty' and pressed the War Department to make changes. One reform came in 1890, when the armed services declared that an individual could not nominate himself for a medal.
Finally, in 1916, (U.S.) President Woodrow Wilson signed a law requiring the War Department to set up a commission of distinguished generals and admirals to review all previous medal awards.
At the same time, the services created a series of lesser medals to honor acts of courage. The Medal of Honor would only be awarded for actions 'above and beyond the call of duty' and in actual combat..."