Each year the VFW Commander-in-Chief chooses the theme for the Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. This year the theme is “What is Patriotism to Me?”
The VFW Post 2173 and Auxiliary sponsors the essay contest at the Van-Far School District for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.
This national contest had 138,000 students participating last year. The national first-place winner received a $5,000 scholarship.
The local winner this year is 7th grader Lindsay Jones, daughter of Matthew and Gayle Jones of rural Vandalia.
The contest required essays to be between 300 and 400 words in length. Jones will receive a monetary award and certificate for her accomplishment.
Please enjoy reading her essay.
“What is Patriotism to Me?”
By Lindsay Jones
When you look up the definition of patriotism you will see that it means the love someone has for their country. I believe that patriotism is more than just loving your country. Patriotism is doing what is right for your country, even if it is not always easy. Patriotism is all around us, we just need to look.
One of the first and most known acts of patriotism was the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The soldiers had a love for a country that was not even named yet. Those soldiers came together and fought to establish a country for themselves, for you and for me…the home of the free and the brave, our United States of America. What an honor to call this great nation our own.
Even today, men and women continue to enlist in the United States Armed Forces to defend our country. Those soldiers make many sacrifices, some with their lives, and others by being away from their family, all in the honor of our country. To these great leaders, we cannot say thank you enough.
I believe there are other ways to show your love for our country. Every four years, Americans get the opportunity to elect a new leader for our country, the President. By casting a ballot, we are showing patriotism. Voting for someone who will love, help and protect our country is important.
Another important act of patriotism is reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Although this might seem like a small action, it still shows the love and respect you have for your country. When I see people putting their hand over their heart as they repeat those words, I see it as a symbol of honor towards the United States. Even little things like this are big acts of patriotism.
Patriotism is an amazing expression of a persons’ devotion to their country. The pride we express by serving in the military, voting and repeating the pledge all help to keep patriotism moving forward in the United States.