VFW Essay Contest winner from New Ulm Middle School

Submitted photo Pictured left to right are the New Ulm Middle School Patriot Pen essay winners, Ari Dreyer (2nd), Natalie Schwartz (1st), Will Burdorf from the VFW, and Ramsey Hopp (3rd)

NEW ULM — Natalie Schwartz, a student at New Ulm Middle School, was the first place winner in the VFW-sponsored Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The contest is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students. Second place went to Ari Dreyer, and third placce went to Ramsey Hopp.

This years theme was “Why I Honor the American Flag.”

On Friday, awards were presented to this year’s winners at the New Ulm Middle School by Will Burdorf of the New Ulm VFW during the all school assembly.

The top three essays are printed below.

Why I Honor the American Flag

Natalie Schwartz

I honor the American Flag because I am a citizen of the United States of America. I want everyone to know that I am proud of my home country. I am so thankful that I am lucky enough to live in America of all places. When I was little I said the Pledge of Allegiance with no thought but now I think about what it really means. I honor the American Flag because America is where I was born and where I’m raised and where I’ll live for most of my life. I honor the American Flag because I will always be from America no matter where I go. I honor the American Flag because it represents our freedom. The only reason why we have our freedom is because people risk their lives to save ours. People leave their families for long periods of time while we’re sitting and staring at the TV or playing video games not worrying about anything. When we look at the American Flag we are reminded of all the people who have a heart big enough to risk their lives for thousands of people that they don’t know and probably never will know. There are many monuments honoring the people who die to make sure that we will always remain a free country and never have to worry about losing our freedom. The American Flag represents many people that we should be thankful for even if we don’t know who they are or anything about them. The American Flag is like a monument that represents those amazing people. We wouldn’t have the life we have today if it wasn’t for the people who fight for our country. When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we aren’t just repeating the same words we did in kindergarten, we are talking about the very good men and women that fight to give us our freedom. So the next time you look at the American Flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance, remember what it represents. Be thankful for those extraordinary people and all that they have done. That is why I am proud to be an American citizen and why I choose to honor the American Flag.

Why I Honor The American Flag

Ramsey Hopp

I honor the American Flag because every time I look at that beautiful flag, my heart melts to pieces. People look at the flag and forget the background of it. All the hard working soldiers, fighting desperately for their lives and ours, hoping they will see their families again. People in this world today don’t give enough credit to the people who fight for their lives and for us to be safe. We wouldn’t be here today alive, free, safe without all the millions of brave men and women who are willing to risk their lives just for you and me. It comforts me to see online “Military families reunite.” All the little children, teens, husbands, wives meeting and for some kids being able to actually see mommy and daddy for the first time.

You see NFL players kneeling for the national anthem. I wonder to myself, why would anyone want to do such a horrible thing? For someone to do that, it takes a lot of guts. That is pure disrespect. You see little kids watching players do that. That’is a really bad example, kids don’t know what that means. All of a sudden you will see kids start doing that, then their parents ask where they learned that from. Their response is “The NFL.” I know people have disbeliefs, but what players do, they don’t know who they will be affecting. I will say for the players who won’t apologize, I am sorry that people do this.

Sometimes people don’t realize who they can all affect by their words, by their actions. A good lesson for them would be think before you speak or act. Think, will it hurt someone? Will it make fun of someone? People don’t think about their actions or words. You see disrespect everywhere at the park, on the game field, at the store, everywhere!

No matter who you are, no matter religion, color, personality: Be respectful and honor our flag. We spread the news to everyone in the world, we will all come together and be on the same page all around the world. Please take my word for it, our nation will be better again if we all work together and help each other out.

Why I Honor The American Flag

Ari Dreyer

For many Americans the flag represents freedom, pride, and justice. Our flag stands for freedom because of all the lives that had to be lost throughout history. The stripes on the American flag represents the 13 original colonies. The stars represents the 50 states of America. But to me the American flag means freedom, Courage and Sacrifice.

To some, soldiers have to be strong and brave but to me, soldiers have to be strong and brave mentally and physically . Think some of these soldiers have lost not only recruits but best friends.These men and women have risked their lives not only for us but to have our freedom but for other countries too have theirs also.

Soldiers have to sacrifice a lot to be in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard. They have to leave their family and loved ones for at the least four years. Some of the soldiers have been forced to give up there hearing, eyesight, limbs and even there life. I also honor the american Flag because of all the people that helped the soldiers mentally and physically. Also all of their loved ones who sent letters to soldiers that made them smile And to all the nurses that have helped the wounded and sick.

But in the end I mostly honor the American flag because of my dad. He fought in the Iraq war in 2003. My dad was one of the lucky ones. One of his best friends on the other hand wasn’t. He lost his life. My dad ended up getting a tattoo of the same tattoo that his friend had and the USMC logo. I know mr dad fought hard and risked a lot I just like all of the other soldiers to. I can feel the sorrow of the soldiers loved ones of fallen soldiers. In conclusion I honor the American flag because of the soldiers who fought for our independence on July 4, 1776, but all the soldiers after to.