Auxiliary sponsors essay contest

The Waconia VFW Ladies Auxiliary recently sponsored an Americanism Essay program based on the theme “Patriotic Spirit” for area fifth and sixth grade students. The program annually appears around Veterans Day. Here are the top essays.

First Place
When people think of being patriotic, America often comes to mind. Why? Because being patriotic involves many things, but love and respect for our country and the others we share it with, is one of the most important. We all have a large part to play in caring for our country; whether it’s helping those in need, or simply caring for the land around you, everyone can make a difference. We live in an amazing place, the land of the free. We all must stand together and mend the fractures of our nation that have occurred, and strengthen our nation as well. Many are welcome here, and many of those who live here devote a fraction of their valuable lives, to serving our nation in the military. These people are fighting to protect our country; these people are making a difference, but everyone else is making a difference too. It may seem implicit, but so many of us are making a huge impact on our nation, even if they don’t know it. When you help someone in need, or pick up even a single piece of litter, and many other things, you are making our great country even greater. Patriotism is shown in so many ways, big or small, but it all leads to one thing, happiness. This is America, this is patriotic spirit.
Alina Martel
Clearwater Middle School
Grade 6

Second Place
The American spirit is made up of pride and liberty. Since our country was founded over 200 years ago, that American Spirit has not been broken. Americans have fought for their freedom against incredible odds. On April 19, 1775, the British Regulars tried to break the Colonists’ spirit and keep them under British rule. With the Battle of Lexington, the fight for America’s freedom had begun. The Colonists faced a tough choice. They had to fight for their freedom or remain under British rule. Within a few days 14,000 militia were assembled and ready to face the best military in the world. They thought that freedom was worth dying for. On Sept. 11, 2001, America came under attack again. With the hijacking of four commercial airplanes, thousands of innocent Americans were killed. Right away thousands of Americans volunteered their time and money to help those that had been hurt in the attack. America military members volunteered to fight in a war against those that had attacked our country. The rights and freedoms of our people are what make our country great. These rights and freedoms need to be protected now and always to keep the American Spirit alive.
Bennett Weber
Clearwater Middle School
Grade 5

Third Place
Patriotic spirit is being true to the United States of America and respecting all that we stand for. Our Country, the United States of America is a free country. We have the freedom to vote for our leaders, to speak freely, to go to any churches, to wear what we want and to live anywhere. We have good leaders who want only the best for our country. Patriotic spirit is a soldier who fights for our country, a teacher who teaches about our freedoms, a doctor who saves people in our country, and all people who believe in the United States of America. We have the American flag, an eagle, the Statue of Liberty and songs about our country, these are all patriotic symbols that stand for America. Patriotic spirit is everywhere in the United States and everyone should remember the importance of being free.
Aidan Olsen
St. Joseph School
Grade 5

Honorable Mention
Ask not what our country can do for you but what you can do for our country! People in America should come together and help. That’s what we did during 9-11. We all came together and showed Osama Bin Laden that no matter what, we are still a united country. We were very hurt and it affected us, but we remained strong and proud. My great-grandfathers and great-uncles served during war time. I love them so much not just because they are a part of my family, but how they served our country. A year ago I was in Rochester with my father, while walking around downtown we met a veteran from the Persian Gulf War. He had numerous injuries which left him disabled. He had talked about how he needed a job, being homeless, and his time spent in war that had made me very sad. I think we need to do more for our vets when they come home. Taking care of their injuries isn’t enough we need to help them find homes. They have done a lot for our country now we need to do a lot for them!
Delaney Hitchler
Clearwater Middle School
Grade 5

I am very happy and proud to live in the United States of America. In our country we are allowed to practice our faith without having to worry about it. People believe in different faiths and that is okay. I am happy that I am a Roman Catholic and am able to pray, go to church, and share my faith with others. I am thankful for those who have fought in wars so we can have freedom. We are allowed to read and write our opinions because we have freedom of speech. Everyone who is 18 and older has the right to vote. We choose our leaders who we think will do a good job running our country. There are many ways to show our patriotic spirit. Every 4th of July my family hangs our American flag and we celebrate our freedom with family picnics and fireworks. I like to wear red, white and blue to the parties. Americans also say the Pledge of Allegiance. We say this in our school every morning. Singing our national anthem before major sporting events also shows our pride in our country. We are happy to be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Meghan Battis
St. Joseph School
Grade 5

America was peaceful and powerful until one day when two planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the Twin Towers in New York. It was a great devastation that hit the nation. Many lost their lives to that tragic day. When the towers were hit there was chaos everywhere. People in the top floors of the Twin Towers jumped out windows because they figured they would be better off that way. It was devastating to see people crying over their lost loved ones and awful to see fear and shock in everyone’s faces. It shocked the entire nation. When everything started to settle down people grieved for their loved ones. When it was over, people everywhere decided that it was time to pull together as a nation and clean up the mess that the terrorists made. We all helped those who grieved over the loss of their loved ones. We gave tribute to those who lost their lives by putting a monument by the site of the Twin Towers. I think patriotic spirit is about pulling together as a nation. They may have taken thousands of lives but they didn’t take America’s pride.
Samantha Hedtke
Clearwater Middle School
Grade 5

My mom and dad got married when my dad was in the U.S. Marine Corps. He went overseas and fought in Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom on the U.S.S. Truman when I was a baby. As I got older, they taught me about the Marine Corps birthday and Veterans Day. These are very special military appreciation days. I show my patriotic spirit by thanking my dad for serving our country and celebrating these days. Everyone can show their patriotic spirit by learning about days such as these, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and putting their hand on their heart during the Star Spangled Banner, which is the United States of America’s National Anthem, and also thanking a veteran.
Lilli Bitschenauer
Clearwater Middle School
Grade 5

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