Valor is exceptionally courageous action, particularly of self-sacrifice for others, while facing death or extreme personal risk. It is the demonstrated quality, well beyond bravery, of a hero or heroine.
Valor cannot be a self-description—it must be observed by others. Of his Marines fighting in the Pacific during World War Two, Admiral Chester Nimitz said, ‘Uncommon valor was a common virtue.’
To fight with valor in defense of repressive, tyrannical authority is needlessly suicidal and ignoble. To fight with valor in defense of others—or in defense of such rights as freedom of belief, speech, and assembly— is noble.