During a Veterans Day observance program at the Rockford Middle School – Center for Environmental Studies, three students discovered that they were being recognized for their winning entries in the area’s “Patriot Pen Essay Contest,” sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for students in grades six to eight. This competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy.
Winning RMS-CES essayists are Seth Karvonen, first place; Victoria Nelson, second place; and Christopher Woida, third place.
Judges found the three essays are well-thought-out and exhibit good discussion points and pride in country.
by Seth Karvonen
To me it’s looking up to your flag and country, believing you’re lucky and honored to live in your country. It starts with fireworks and blowing horns, but it goes much deeper. Inside your heart and mind you must respect and honor your country, respecting your flag by following protocol like flying a flag at half mast, shining lights on it at night, and keeping it off the ground is patriotic. Other small things like singing the anthem, saying the pledge, taking your hat off during the anthem or pledge, and placing your hand on your heart during the anthem and pledge all contribute to patriotism.
The flag is a big part of patriotism as Joe Barton said, “Our flag honors those who have fought to protect it, and is a reminder of the sacrifice of our nation’s founders and heroes. As the ultimate icon of America’s storied history, the Stars and Stripes represent the very best of this nation.” So the flag is a big part of patriotism; we pledge to it, salute to it, and use it to honor historical people. In the military the flag is everything, shown everywhere from the uniforms all the way to the coffins. In the government the flag is on cars, on seals, on floors, and on walls. Schools usually have flagpoles and flags in most rooms. The USPS has flags on stamps. NASA has the flag on space shuttles, uniforms, rovers on Mars, and even the moon. Around our community we see flags at fire stations, libraries, banks, and city halls; just to name a few places. So, the flag is a big part of our life. We should obey flag protocol and flag rules, we should pledge to it, we should salute it, and we should honor people with it.
Patriotism is also following laws, keeping our country clean, and singing songs about our country. And you don’t need to be in the military to be patriotic, although people in the military are very patriotic. So, people young and old, civilians and military people, men and women you to can be patriotic. Follow my ideas and you can be patriotic in my mind.
Means To me
by Victoria Nelson
What does patriotism means to me? Patriotic means to me that you wear the colors of the country, red, white, and blue, with pride. Red means passion, like my passion for our country. White is a new beginning, a fresh day. Blue stands for worldly ideas. So basically, the colors of our patriotic country means to means to be passionate about a new day, and having worldly ideas of being in a country you adore.
Our flag is another item about our fiercely independent country that I think of when I hear the lovely word patriotism. Our flag has 13 red and white stripes horizontal. The standout streaks stand for the first 13 colonies of Britain that were settled in 1607 by the Pilgrims. The country’s flag also has 50 white stars against a background of midnight blue. The blinding white stars stand for our free 50 states.
A time when I always, no matter what, remember our country is 4th of July. It’s probably because that was when, in, we declared our freedom from the British. It’s a memorable day that I doubt anyone will stop celebrating ever, or for a very, very long time.
My favorite thing about patriotism is probably hearing about how we came to be a country, like learning about all the research that is going on about the first people to discover America and how they are trying to prove Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first European to find our beloved country. Also who colonized what colony and why they did it. Then there is the big war between the British and us Americans that wanted our freedom and our own rights.
A very important day to all people of America is Thanksgiving. It stands for the first meal eaten between the Native Americans and Pilgrims. It is a day when we give thanks for our fiercely independent country and all the luck that has been bestowed upon us the great year.
These are all very important occurrences or items that come front and foremost in my mind when I think of that lovely word patriotism.
Means To Me
by Chris Woida
~ “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.” —John F. Kennedy
Patriotism. A simple word, but so many meanings. Patriotism is the will to fight for our great country, the will to struggle through anything to do what is right.
From the Revolutionary War, where so many people tried to stand up against the British control, and fought with all of their strength. They never gave up, willing to give their lives to protect the flag. This was a sign of true patriotism.
Everyday, whether they know it or not, every person commits an act of patriotism. They work to make America a better place, and try to help everyone. Few of those individuals rise above the rest, and join the army, showing true patriotism and valor. Those souls defend our country with all their might, willing to die for their country.
Many times they defended America, from the Revolutionary War, to the World Wars, to all wars to come. Many times, for their great sacrifice, a flag was at half mast, which signified to all to remember what those courageous people did. Those people of victims of the Pearl Harbor bombing, and the 911 terrorist run, we remember them with all our hearts.
America is what it is today, because of those brave souls, willing to do anything. Another thing that is important is the founding of America, where people did necessary things to ensure our country’s prosperity. After Britain’s grip was finally relinquished on America, our first president, George Washington, stitched this country together, and rose it from the ashes of the 13 colonies.
Our line of presidents formed what is known today as the USA, defender of peace, home of the brave, where valor reins true. Everyday, our president does his best to maintain the balance, and even if they make bad choices, they will try to make the best for our country.
That is what I feel is true patriotism, where one is willing to go to the extremes (Martin Luther King Jr., etc.) to do what is right for our marvelous country. This is the attitude that everyone should have.