Alta VFW and Auxiliary's Voice of Democracy winner is Halie Larsen

Friday, November 30, 2012
Halie with Ruth Hoferman and Don Fisher.

Halie Larsen, a senior at St. Mary's, participated in the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Voice of Democracy competition. A local winner in the contest selected by the Alta VFW and Auxiliary, her entry will now compete in the next level.

Voice of Democracy has been the VFW's premier scholarship program since 1947. Each year more than 500,000 high school students compete for more than $2.3 million in scholarships.

Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. This year's theme is, "Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?"

She shared the writing with the Alta VFW and Auxiliary recently.

Halie is the daughter of Ed and Mary Larsen.

Here is Halie's entry.

The Constitution of the United States is and always will be relevant to each and every human being on earth. This document is the basis for what the united States is. Our rights are outlined by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are a detailed list of everything that we as citizens have rights for. From the smallest rules to the biggest laws, they are all in the Constitution and are carried out through the three branches of the government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial.

The Executive Branch states that the president heads this branch for a term of four years along with the vice-president for the same four-year term. Together they enforce the laws given by the Constitution.

the Legislative Branch states that the powers will be authorized in Congress, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Together, they make the laws.

In the Judicial Branch, powers are authorized in the Supreme Court. They explain and interpret the laws when there are disagreements.

These three branches of government together guarantee there would be a system to prevent the abuse of powers. They call this the Systems of Checks and Balances.

The people of the United States wanted and still need the powers of the government to be in writing so everyone would know what their powers and duties would be. They also wanted a physical document to be seen and heard. We still carry those rules out by using the Constitution as our guidelines in everything we do today. For example, all of the opportunities given to us to express our opinion through voting were given to us by the Constitution. It is our contract guaranteeing a limited government. As we are deciding our upcoming 45th president by keeping in mind their background and views, we know their jobs are laid out for us in the First Articles of the Constitution of the United States. This again supports how the Constitution is still relevant to today's society.

the whole purpose of the government is to make certain no one branch can take control of the other branches. We would not need such an involved government if it were not for people's wrong doing. Individuals may not always act for the common good of America, but I feel it has gotten slightly worse over the years. In some ways, I could see that we may need to tweak the Constitution but never in any sense to change what it stands for. Amending the Constitution is acceptable, but deleting is not. This country can never be without the Constitution.

The Preamble gives us the reasons for establishing the Constitution. "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and share domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America." these few words have a strong impact that shows me they wanted the people of the United States to live in a place where they are trying to create a more perfect government. They were also in the process of establishing a first class justice system, ensuring household peace, and taking care of everyone's general needs, rights, and freedoms, not only for us but for future generations as well.

Many men and women of this country have lost their lives fighting to keep us safe. They were instructed by officials who followed rules handed down through the systems. These rules came from the Constitution. My grandfathers were fortunate enough to have fought for our country, but did not lose their lives. One was a foot soldier in the army and the other was a teletyper in the navy, both during World War II. Much of their protection came from rules and regulations from the most important document ever written, the Constitution. My grandfathers as well as many other Americans fighting for our country are what have given us our freedom today.

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are documents that are included in the Charters of Freedom. All of them collectively serve as the foundation of our government in the United States. Together the Charters of Freedom explain the principles upon which our nation was founded and guaranteed the freedom we now enjoy. They are preserved and displayed in our capitol city, Washington District of Colombia. The Constitution is the more important document ever written in American history. This document affects each and every single person in the United States, every day of our lives. We need to thank the founders of the Constitution when we do simple daily tasks that we take for granted. For example, going to the church of our choice, voting for the presidential candidate of our choice, speaking freely whenever, who we speak to, and where we would like to speak. All of these freedoms along with a countless number of other simple freedoms would not be allowed without a Constitution. This document was so well written, that it is still in use 200 years later. Therefore, in every way, shape, and form, the Constitution of the United States is very relevant to us as we live out our lives today in 2012.