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SMS Student Wins Essay Contest

posted Dec 19, 2018, 11:11 AM by Lee Stephens   [ updated Dec 19, 2018, 11:40 AM ]
Angie Diaz-Hernandez
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US (VFW) have long been known for the many good works they do in support of the veterans across the country. The Patriot’s Pen essay contest, which they also sponsor, is less well known; but it is a program they firmly support each year. Designed to help foster patriotism among young people, the contest is open to all students in grades 6-8. Locally, the contest is sponsored by VFW Post 6830 in Walhalla, which was recently pleased to announce that a local student was named VFW District 4 first place winner. Angie Diaz-Hernandez, an eighth grader at Seneca Middle School, will now go on to represent the entire upstate in the South Carolina competition where she could win up to $5,000 cash and a trip to Washington, D.C. Angie’s essay was a heartfelt explanation of “Why I Honor the American Flag,” the topic of this year’s essay contest. Her English/Language Arts teacher, Stephanie Necessary, who worked with Angie on her essay, said, "I am so thankful for the VFW who provides amazing opportunities like this to our young people. Contests like this not only support our students but also serve as teachable moments for students to reflect on the sacrifices our armed forces have made to protect our nation."

Why I Honor The American Flag

The American flag is not just a piece of fabric with the colors of blue, red, and white. The American Flag is what represents us, Americans. It shows people of different race, culture, and opinion come together to form this beautiful country. The American flag stands for pain, victory, and justice fought through by those brave men and women who gave their lives for our people and nation.

I honor the American flag because of what it signifies. The flag can be found everywhere from a local school to the moon, however, it has a valuable meaning behind it. The American flag’s colors are very symbolic when representing our past and future. Something that really stands out in the flag is red, which means valor and strength. These characteristics remind me of veterans or relatives of those who have served in the military. Most Americans know what it is like to send a loved one to serve for our nation. Many are devastated to see them go and some never see their loved ones again. I honor the American flag, not only to honor those who have lost their lives to fight for this country, but also for those who served for our nation and were able to return home.

Presidents in our past had a great pride in our nation and believed in our country through peace or war. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson stated, “It (flag) floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past or the men and women who went before us, and of the records, they wrote upon it.” Americans value these words, and even though many people don’t realize the purpose of the American flag or our patriotic pride, Americans will keep honoring the American flag with great pride for centuries to come.