Student Essays Win: “The America I Believe In”
In keeping with this weekend’s patriotic theme, Leadville Today is proud to present a couple of award-winning essays from Leadville students Judith Hill (7th Grade) and Neva Sunday (8th Grade). The two Lake County Intermediate School students are recipients of the 2016 – 17 Patriot’s Pen Award. Conducted nationwide, this Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme was “The America I Believe In”. Both Judith and Neva submitted essays to the local VFW chapter and won! In December, they were given their awards in front of the entire 7th and 8th grade class. Congratulations Judith and Neva!
The America I Believe In
By Neva Sunday, Lake County Intermediate School
I believe in great things. I believe in equality, peace, and my rights to free speech. Such as my right to speak out against the government. I do not believe in racial injustice, poverty, etc.
“The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than people born here.” – Chuck Palahniuk (Choke). America is the root of freedom, a country that has freedom against fear, captivity, and abandonment. Yet, I find it ironic that we pronounce our country a country of respect, liberty, and freedom, when in reality, we do not always give respect to prospective immigrants. We will not let others be free, in this, a land of freedom. When we say that we want freedom, but do not allow it for others, does that make us so pure? If we are free here, why can others not be free here?
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” And yet, we still have not lived up to his dream. Some in our nation criticize people based on the color of their skin. Many people today are either being put down, or putting others down because of racism. Racism, to me, is unnecessary. It defines people by their looks, not their character. Why should we pay attention to the color of their skin, when we should pay attention to who they are as a human being.
Although America can be ironic and hypocritical, it is also beautiful. It has many citizens, such as me, that want to change the world for the better. Such as getting rid of pollution. Although there may be people that disagree because of what our country is headed to, for example: pictures of Hillary Clinton with a pinocchio nose, I believe that America is the root of all freedom, equality, and peace. In 1776, we signed the Declaration of Independence saying that this where all people should be free. I believe in the America that helps its citizens, helps the world, and helps those “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (Lazarus).
The America I Believe In
By Jude Hill, Lake County Intermediate School
The America I believe in is made up of many things: good jobs, good housing, peace, and no criminal desires. But, the America I believe in really revolves around two main things: equal rights and no poverty.
Every year, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, my mom reads my sister and I a book about Martin Luther King Jr’s speech. In one part of his speech he says, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I believe in an America where this dream, is a reality. No one’s character should be immediately judged by their race, gender, or any other difference one might have compared to others, no book should be judged by its cover.
16% of Americans live in poverty. That is approximately 48 million people. And, in my opinion, that is too many. The America I believe in doesn’t know what the word ‘poverty’ means. In the America I believe in, poverty will just be a concept taught in history classes. The children and grandchildren of people in poverty today will complain about having to go to school rather than not being able to. They will have three complete meals every day and food to spare.
Although these goals may seem impossible to reach to some people, they are completely realistic. That is, under one condition: that we all work together to reach these goals. Not just one state will have to work toward this goal, all of them will. And once we have complete and total participation nation-wide, we could accomplish anything. Whether we choose to use that power for good or evil is up to America. I believe in an America to choose the high road and use that power to eliminate homelessness, malnourishment, gender discrimination and racial injustice. And once we have decided to use this power for good, we will have truly accomplished an equal America.