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Essay contest: Why are we proud?

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MORRIS - Morris Area Elementary School fifth and sixth grade students were challenges to write on the topic "Why I'm proud of our veterans and our country." The winning essay, written by Jordan DeLeeuw, was read at a Veterans Day program organized by the Morris Area FFA chapter and Morris Area High School Student Council.

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High school winner MaKenzie Smith also read her essay at the program.

First Place: Lordan DeLeeuw

I am proud of our veterans because of all the things they have done for us. They have made so many sacrifices for our country. Some of those sacrifices were leaving their families, friends, and jobs. They put their country before their own lives. Many of them came home, but some of them lost their lives in battle. You would have to have a lot of bravery to go out and fight even though you knew that by doing that you were putting your own life at risk. If they hadn't fought, then our country might not be what it is today.

They have had to go through a lot of bad things. Like losing a comrade in battle or getting seriously injured. Even when they come back home they still have a rough life because what they have seen or gone through has left them mentally scarred. They might have nightmares about maybe dying or seeing a comrade die in battle. If they drove vehicles while they were serving, they might think that certain things on the road could be where a bomb was planted. Like I said before, they have made so many sacrifices many of us wouldn't be able to do. That is why we are proud of our veterans.

Honorable Mention: Kali Berlinger

Why are we proud? Why do we live in freedom? Who saves us? We wonder and ask these questions. Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is celebrated because of the time and dedication of soldiers that soldiers put in to keep us living in peace and freedom. Everyday soldiers go out and fight to save us. Everyday they put their life on the line for us. These soldiers have to be strong, brave, courageous, and proud to keep us free. They love our country so much that when they get called to fight, they might have to leave good jobs, friends, and family. They put their country before themselves.

They go through so much to help us, and they are proud to serve. Families back home pray and hope for a safe return. Most of the soldiers return home safe, but some don't make it. Even though they died, we should remember that they gave it their all and died for freedom. For us, for our country, for you. A few soldiers I know fought and are here today. They are Doung Anderson, Brett Fuhrman, Jamie Schwebach, and Pay Beyer.

We shouldn't just celebrate on Veterans Day. We should be thankful and celebrate everyday.

Can you answer the questions now? Why do we live in freedom? Who saves us? Why do we celebrate Veterans Day? Why are we proud?

I believe this is why we are proud of our veterans, our heroes.

Honorable Mention: Judah Malek

Why are we proud of our country? That is a good question to ask. We Americans should be proud of our country because we have so many freedoms.

In the U.S., we have the freedom of speech. That means we can speak freely. If you want to protest, you can although I don't support protesting. You can speak out loud or in secret. In most other countries you don't have the freedom of speech.

In the United States you get to choose what you wear and what religion you want to be involved with. You can wear what you want to wear in the U.S. and you don't have to have someone like the government telling you what to wear. You also get to choose whatever religion you want to believe in, if any. You don't have to follow the religion everyone else does.

In the United States, we have a democracy. If you don't know what that means, I'll tell you. It means ruled by the people. In our country, we get to vote for our leaders.

I listed some other reasons we are proud of our country. You get to choose who you marry, if you agree. You can own things like a house, while in other countries you can't. You can choose what job you want, and you don't have to worry about a job if you are under 18 years of age. You can choose where you live and you have the right to bear ars. There is no slavery, kinds, or queens in America. You can fish or hunt if you have a license to do so. There is freedom of transportation also.

In the U.S.A., we have a huge arm, I mean HUGE! And from that army, we get a lot of veterans, young and old. That is why we made a holiday for the men that is called Veterans Day. The veterans fought for many of our freedoms that we have today. These men sacrifice many things. Sometimes they lose their life fighting for our country. They also sacrifice their jobs and time with their families. The veterans give up many more things that that, so don't think they are the only things. Thank you for taking your time to read this. ­

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