Essay Contest celebrates patriotism

Friday, November 13, 2020
Alta-Aurelia Middle School students Tegan Flink, Breanna Sawvell and Angus Miller (pictured) along with Amalia Esquivel and Jenna Galvin (not pictured) won this year’s Alta-Aurelia School District’s Veterans Day essay contest sponsored by the Alta VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). English teacher Lesa Heschke is pictured at right. Students participated in the Patriot’s Pen annual essay contest, and this year’s essay topic was, “What is patriotism to me.”

Alta - Aurelia Middle School students competed in the annual VFW Patriot’s Pen essay competition, • five winners were named. The local contest is sponsored by the Alta VFW.

Angus Miller won the local VFW contest and will be entered in the regional contest which could lead to his essay being entered in the state contest, English teacher Lesa Heschke said.

In his essay, Miller wrote, “Patriotism to me is a different feeling for everyone that any person can have that makes them want to do anything for their country.” He referred to the Revolutionary War and how people fought for their freedom against Britain’s control.

The patriots who participated in the Revolutionary War had the same feeling because they were free. “They were free to speak, free to believe, and free to fight for their country,” he wrote.

Throughout time, the veterans of America knew what could happen to them, yet they still believed so hard in the well-being of our country that they were willing to fight.

“People think of patriotism in many ways, and show patriotism in different ways, yet that is good because with freedom comes the freedom to think freely,” Miller wrote in his conclusion.

Breanna Sawvell began her essay with, “To me, patriotism is honoring the soldiers and veterans who have risked their lives for us, respecting our country by standing for the pledge, and loving the glorious land we are blessed with.”

If it wasn’t for the millions of men and women sacrificing so much for our country, we wouldn’t be where we are today, she wrote. She believes that patriotism comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it may be risking your life to save others or simply just thanking our service members for everything they’ve done.

“To me, patriotism is honoring the soldiers and veterans who have devoted their lives to protecting our country. Patriotism is standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to show that we’re proud to be an American. Last, but not least, is loving the glorious land we live on; because no matter what, in the end, we are all Americans.”

Tegan Flink wrote, “Patriotism to me is seen in many ways and can mean helping in your community.” She cited examples of patriotism which include joining the military, supporting the president, flying the flag, voting and using one’s voice for those who don’t have one.

Patriotism can mean helping in your community by donating food and clothes to the homeless, donating blood, becoming a mentor or organizing a clean up day.

“Helping others in need is showing patriotism,” she wrote, such as mowing an elderly person’s lawn, volunteering for a charity, buying food for a homeless person, babysitting a child or comforting someone experiencing grief. Some people join the military to show patriotism as well.

She concluded with, “Patriotism to me is people who want to build a strong country.”

Amalia Esquivel began her essay with, “The English term patriot is first found in the Elizabethan era; it came from the Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriot, meaning “countryman.”

She believes the act of patriotism and feeling patriotic are things which will make for a stronger nation. Not only will you be able to relate well to others in your shared love for this country but the more individuals who express their patriotic feelings, the stronger our country will be as a whole, she wrote. “Soldiers often have a strong sense of patriotism, believing in the vision of a nation greater than themselves.”

Esquivel concluded with, “Whether you display the American flag, thank a military member for their service, or volunteer with a military organization, you are using that strength and fortitude to do what’s right for the benefit of our country.”

Jenna Galvin wrote that patriotism to her is honoring your country and standing up for what is unjust. “People all throughout history have stood up for what is wrong and changed the world. Protests, and riots, are what get the world to change.”

“People such as Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. are all people who have stood up for what they think is unjust and got things to change for the better.”

She sees patriotism as the soldiers out in the fields risking their lives to keep us safe and allow us to do things like protest and riot. “People who fought for people’s safety can even be patriotic. The firefighters and police, people who assisted during 9/11.”

These are the people who helped us realize that we aren’t invincible and need to help come together as a whole, she wrote.