The Brighton Elks Lodge 1586 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks sponsored the 2012-13 Americanism essay contest. This year’s topic was “What does the National Anthem mean to me?”
Division I (fifth- and sixth-grade) winners and their families were treated to dinner and received their awards at the Brighton Elks Lodge Jan. 15. Each winner read their essay. Winners were presented a trophy, certificate and check: $25 for third place, $50 for second and $75 for first place.
The winning essays have been sent to the district level for further competition. The Lodge hopes for winners at district so they will then compete at the state level.
The Brighton Elks Lodge #1586 would like to thank all schools that participated this year.
First Place: Alexx Renee McMilan, Grade 6, Prairie View Middle School
Of all the most touching and powerful songs, the National Anthem reigns supreme. The National Anthem means everything to me, my way of life, my values, and most importantly my freedom. This glorious and beautiful song is about somebody watching the Revolutionary War, a very long, painful treacherous, war. However, every cloud has a silver lining and with the terrible war brought blood shed but also our liberty from England.
The lines “And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there,” saying from the bombs light you could see our flag meaning we didn’t surrender. We kept fighting for our freedom no matter what we were going up against. I understand the National Anthem is not responsible for our freedom, however, it is about the Revolutionary War (the cause of our freedom) so to me it symbolizes it.
The National Anthem reminds me of why we live in democracy and why we can choose our leader, who doesn’t make our decisions, we do. It reminds me why we can believe in whatever we want, not what people tell us to. It reminds me that I live in the amazing free country of America. The National Anthem will continue for centuries to bring tears to American eyes and remind us of the sacrifices our forefathers made to allow us to live in the wonderful free country of The United States of America.
SECOND PLACE: Elena Pocs, Grade 6, Prairie View Middle School
Every time the National Anthem comes on I feel proud and joyful. The National Anthem makes me feel like I belong in this country; I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
It makes me proud because I know that our ancestors fought hard for our freedom. They never gave up in what they believed in. It also makes me feel joyful because it’s a wonderful song. The National Anthem tells a story. There may be tears and blood, but we won victory in the end. Now, our century doesn’t have to face cruelty. So we should be very joyful for that.
I think that our country is the most loyal and hardworking, therefore, there is no place I’d rather be in than America. So to me, the National Anthem means that we’re very loyal. We stand up for what we believe in and we aren’t afraid to do that. We respect each other’s decisions and ideas, and we play fair. The National Anthem represents me and my country.
THIRD PLACE: Natalie Paige Gousha, Grade 5, Pennock Elementary
To me the National Anthem means so much more than just a simple song. It has a significant meaning because my dad is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. If we didn’t have our brave men and women in the military we could never truly experience the freedom we have in our great country today.
To me the anthem means freedom and justice for all who live in America. A long time ago when we were still fighting for our freedom from the British, American soldiers carried the flag through fierce battles because they believed in what they were fighting for. This particular piece is very meaningful because no matter what happened during the fighting our flag still remained flying even when it was torn.
Also the men who fought for our country did so with honor and in the belief that freedom was worth the ultimate sacrifice. Another reason why the National Anthem is so special to me is that is explains the rich heritage of our country and tells the story of who we are as Americans. My favorite part of the National Anthem is “Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight” because it is a symbol of strength that our nation proudly held through conflict to eventually prevail and become the greatest nation who fights for freedom for all people.