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Pictured from left are Layna Wear, Mikayla Davidson, Fatima Nuñez and Ben Kleve.

What does patriotism mean to me?

VFW Patriot’s Pen essay contest names top 4

Layna Wear

1st place, Holyoke Junior High

Elon Musk once said, “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” It’s true; if the life you want to make for yourself is important to you, go reach for it. The American dream allows us the ability to work for the life we want for ourselves, and make our dream a reality. That’s one of the amazing things about America; you have the ability to reach for and make the life you want a reality with hard work and without having to worry about restrictions on race or color. These things show Patriotism to me.

The fact that the American dream is available to anyone who wants to work for it is one way to show patriotism. The American dream allows us to go from being on the streets to being one of the richest people in the world. It allows us to open our minds and reach for the life we want without having restrictions on race, religion, or anything other than how hard you work. Many people are reaching for a life they can afford when they should be reaching for the life they want.

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Mikayla Davidson

2nd place, Holyoke Junior High

There is a saying, “Love grows best in small houses with fewer walls to separate where you eat and where you sleep.” While we are a great country with a sound foundation built by our founding fathers, I would like to think of the great United States of America as a small house with few walls but great potential. Like every small house a great amount of love is within it both for its people and the people for their country. Patriotism to me is service and respect.

Although military service is not the only way to give service it is one of the best and most honorable ways to. There are hundreds upon thousands  of men and women out there as we speak, risking everything to make our lives as peaceful as they can. We have the power to give them a reason to fight. Our purpose in the equation is to be everyday heroes in our communities such as first responders, policemen, and other amazing people and professions. In this way, we are helping by reassuring the troops that their families are safe so they can worry about defending our country and more important things on the battlefield, being heroes for our country and the walls of our sturdy little house.

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Fatima Nuñez

3rd place, Holyoke Junior High

“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared to death,” Omar Bradley once stated. Omar Bradley is one of the 18 million American veterans who put their lives on the line for our country. In return, we should show them respect, and we even have a day to celebrate and thank them for their services. Not only are we supposed to thank them on this one day, but we should thank them on any day. Patriotism toward me is getting a choice and the American dream.

Having a choice is one of the best things you can have! Luckily for us, we live in America, meaning that we have multiple opportunities. Getting an option not only means getting to decide what you want to be when you grow up, but being able to choose a president, religion, career, marriage, gender, and so much more! The most important choice we have for our American women that is not available for women in additional countries are reproductive rights, allowing many American women to get the option of carrying out the pregnancy. Not only do we get freedom from these choices, but we gain a voice from them.

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Ben Kleve

4th place, Holyoke Junior High

Abraham Lincoln once said, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” Patriotism to me means the American dream. There are people who immigrate to our country to live our American dream.  We as a people need to protect the American dream and simply the concept of that dream.  

Sometimes you do not have the luck to be born in the U.S.A. but you can migrate as many people have done for the American dream. Alexander Hamilton is one of these people that immigrated for the American dream, fought against the British, and helped make the American government’s financial system. Elon Musk is one of the amazing people that is pushing science to its limits by helping found many innovative companies such as Tesla, Space-X, and Nutrlink. Albert Einstein the famous mathematician and originator of the math formula e=mc3. It is an amazing thing to hear a success story of immigrants against all odds come out on top like Elon Musk and Alexander Hamilton and change the world in the process.

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