Vail Valley middle schoolers on why they honor the American flag |

Vail Valley middle schoolers on why they honor the American flag

Here are the winning essays from this school year's Patriot’s Pen Contest held by the VFW

In honor of Flag Day on Friday, June 14, the Vail Daily is running the three winning essays from Vail Valley middle schoolers for this year’s Patriot’s Pen Contest, put on by VFW Post 10721 in Minturn.

Here are the essays in order of finish.

First place

Siena Kassmel, Vail Christian Academy ($175 award)

I honor the American flag because I was born in America, and I am proud of who I am, an American! As an American, I enjoy having freedoms and liberties like reading books, watching movies, not being a slave, being with my family, going to school and going to church! I enjoy this because army soldiers fought for our freedoms in this country. Many soldiers even died for us. The American flag stands for each of these men and women who fought for our country.

The colors of the flag are so bold and soothing at the same time. Each one stands for something different! White stands for innocence and blue stands for the color of the chief. Last, but certainly not least, red stands for hardiness and courage. The 13 stripes in our flag are the 13 colonies and the 50 stars in our flag are the 50 states of America. All represent the America I love.

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I love that the summers in America are great because you can go swimming, rock climbing, camping, bike riding and so much more. I love all these things, but I really love winters in America the most. I love winter the most because I love to ski, make snow angels, go sledding and Christmas. Christmas is such a special time because we get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, which we would not be able to do in many other countries. American soldiers fought for our freedom of religion. America is one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

I honor the American flag for all the reasons above. I am so blessed to live in a country with such amazing freedoms and liberties. I will honor the flag by not letting it touch the ground, take good care of it, and I will raise it proudly. By doing these things, I make certain to not just honor the flag but also the men and women who died for our freedoms.

Second place

Hannah Firkins, Gypsum Creek Middle School ($150 award)

Why do I honor the American flag? Why do I salute it each day? What has it done for me? The flag represents an old glory, carried through the ages, ever since the American Revolution. We carry this honor through time, we hold it above the ground each day to pay tribute to our freedom. Each stripe shows each colony that fought against the British Empire to raise the flag each day. Each star represents the union of states that makes us the strongest nation of the world.

Our flag’s colors also have a profound meaning; the blue shows our perseverance and justice, the red is for hardiness, and the white represents purity and innocence. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem for all 50 states, sings proudly, “And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” This sentence shows our perseverance and how we will fight together for our freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and press.

When America conquers a new obstacle, we plant our flag, like Robert Peary in 1909, he placed our flag in the North Pole, and in 1963, Barry Bishop placed a flag at the peak of Mount Everest, or in 1969 when Neil Armstrong ‘flew’ out to space and planted the first flag on the moon. We place our flag at every goal we accomplish, every battlefield we have conquered, every country we have helped, every enemy we have fought; our flag is the first thing we raise proudly.

So then why do I honor this patriotic symbol? I do because I am truly proud of my country, and what we have fought for. I put my hand on my heart to show my liberty and proudness of all our accomplishments so I can stand here today to type this page about how I feel and do it freely. I look to the flag as a glimmer of hope, and to give me courage whenever I want to stop trying and just give up. When I have a hard time, my flag can remind me of everything I can do, and why I can do it. I honor my flag in a way of showing my respect and idolize the people who fought for me. That is why I always put my hand at my heart in the name of my flag.

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Third place

Quinn Downey, Vail Christian Academy ($125 award)

Why do I honor the American flag? There are so many different reasons on why I honor the American flag and probably the main reasons are to honor the freedom that we fought for in the Revolutionary War. Another reason that I would honor it is for all the men and women that are fighting for our country in war.

This flag represents our country, land of the free, home of the brave, and we have it from winning against one of the greatest armies ever, the British army. The flag shows that you can have freedom of speech, religion, and much more; so to honor the flag is something everybody in America should do, from blacks to whites to Hispanics, we are all under our flag.

Generation after generation, people have fought for this country and our flag. Men and women fight so we can have a free country; therefore we should honor the flag for the people who are fighting for us. This flag is the sign of our nation; every war or disaster we should all turn back to our flag and our original rules and beliefs of this country through the 50 stars, 13 stripes and the red, white and blue coloration.

That flag has been with our country since day one and year after year, it has only gained more stars. Our flag is still here today and still has the same colors, stripes and stars, and it will always be the same country when we all honor the American flag. We all honor this flag to show the appreciation from our Founding Fathers to our president, to all the soldiers throughout the hundreds of years of this country’s existence. This is why we should honor our flag day after day, month after month, and year after year. That is why I honor our American flag.

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