Patriot Pen award winners share essays

The Fort Dodge VFW Post 1856 recently awarded its annual Patriot Pen awards to three area students.

The subject of this year’s essay was “America’s Gift To My Generation.”

First place, and second place in the district, was Mackenzie Camden, 13, a seventh-grade student at Fort Dodge Middle School. Second place was Estella Moffitt, 13, an eighth-grade student at Community Christian School, and in third place, Victoria Touney, 13, a seventh-grade student at Fort Dodge Middle School.

‘America’s Gift to My Generation’ — First Place, Mackenzie Camden

I believe America’s most important gift to our generation is freedom. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.

We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States, when we were free.” In most countries in the world, your fate and identity are given to you. In America you choose them for yourself, because of the gift of freedom to our generation.

In America we have so many opportunities because of the freedoms that many previous generations fought so hard to protect. Our generation has access to a great education. We have many job opportunities to make money and prosper to support our families as we grow. We have access to the best healthcare in the world and state of the art technologies. We have the freedom to decide who we want to get married to. We have the choice to have as many children as we like. We have access to healthy food and clean water. We can wear whatever clothing we choose to and not have to worry about going to jail just because of what you wear. All the freedoms we have means everything for all our future generations.

So many generations of people in America have worked tirelessly to make our nation diverse and safe for each succeeding generation. I feel so lucky to have been born an America. We have all been given the greatest gift and should not take it for granted. We must all do our part to continue the great works of the people who came before us and have sacrificed much to insure all of our freedoms.

Thank you to all Americans for the gift of freedom and all the other gifts and opportunities freedom brings us. I am so very proud to be an American and will do my part to help my generation protect the freedom that has been given to us.

‘America’s Gift to My Generation’ – Second Place, Estella Moffitt

America went through many rough times to get where we are now, like slavery, war and much more, but America fought through all that to get something so special that many other countries do not have. It is the reason why America is so great and why many people come here. It is freedom. We did not earn freedom through sitting around and playing our electronics. America earned its freedom by being smart and standing up for itself. I think that America’s gift for my generation is freedom. Freedom means the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or resistance, and many countries cannot do that. Americans have the freedom to vote and go to church freely without fearing we might be punished and go to jail. Freedom gives us the satisfaction that we do not have to worry about anything.

Freedom is a very good thing, but sometimes we might take it for granted. We think that because we have it we can stop fighting for it, but we could have our freedom taken away from us any time. Imagine what life would be like if we did not have freedom. We could be overtaken by a bad country or we could be scared that the children might not be able to grow up and live a happy life. America’s freedom is so important, which is why we need to cherish and embrace it. Our freedom gives us the choice to vote and say what we want.

I love my freedom because then soon when I get old enough I will be able to vote and have the freedom to make my own decisions, like where I want to live or which college to go to. Even at home right now I have the freedom to make my own decisions; we all do. And that is why I think America’s gift to my generation is freedom≥

‘America’s Gift to My Generation’ — Third Place, Victoria Touney

America’s gift to my generation is providing me a place where I have freedom, liberty, and safety. America also gifts me a home, where I can fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor. America has given me a place to call home and a place where one day I can find a cure for a disease. America is a place where I can travel and learn new things and see new sights. America is home to 323.1 million people, and I am one of them. America is always growing, and is always developing new ways to solve issues.

The freedoms America provides gives me rights, like freedom of speech or the freedom to act or the freedom to think without hindrance or restraint. We all speak, act and think freely, and that is something not everyone has.

The liberty, America gives us is being able to do what we want within the rules of society. Liberty gives us the freedom of choice, political independence, and personal freedom. We have the liberty to voice our opinions on things the government or our elected officials say by staging protests, holding petitions and with our election process. Being able to have these it gives us a chance to voice our opinions on what we believe on a scale much larger with other’s voices sharing the same idea than with just our voice alone.

The safety, America provides it the protection and unity. There was recently (10/2/17) a shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada and we are all supporting the people who were witnesses and victims. When disaster strikes, the Las Vegas shooting, hurricane Erma, Jose or Maria, we have services provided to help the victims who were, in some way, harmed. This shows that people come together to help others in tragedy.

America has gifted us in many ways, and some people take it for granted. Some people don’t see how gifted they are. We have safety, liberty, freedom and so much more to be thankful for. I am thankful for what I have and for what are given to me.