2001 VFW Essay Winners

1st Place Winner -- A Boy's Idea Of Being Patriotic

     What does it mean to be patriotic?  Patriotic means the love of or for someone's country.  Patriotic can also be helping when your country's in need.  Some ways to help your country would be to go out and pick up trash to help clean up your community, start a food drive for needy people, or just do whatever you can to make things better.
     A responsibility that everyone has is the privilege to vote.  Voting shouldn't be a right for a person, but voting should be a responsibility that you take seriously when you become of age.  Some people say, "I am not going to vote because my vote doesn't make a difference."  If you have been watching the recent election, your vote does make a difference.  Some people say, "I'm too busy or too old."  Well, you aren't to busy because it only takes a few minutes to come in and vote; you aren't too old either because my grandpa is 83 and my grandma is 80.  They never miss an opportunity to vote.  It is hard for them to get out and they both have health troubles, but that has never stopped them from voting.
     There are many things you can do to be patriotic that are fun, like going to a fair to see fireworks.  I like putting up and taking down the flag of freedom  at school because I am in Student Council and it is one of my jobs.
     There are days during the year when we celebrate patriotism.  Veteran's Day, Independence Day, and President's Day are just a few.  On Veteran's Day we honor the brave citizens who have served in the military.  On Independence Day we celebrate the birthday of our nation's independence and this next year in 2001 our nation will be two hundred twenty-five years old.  On President's Day we honor all the Presidents of the United States.
     Being patriotic isn't something that you think about occasionally when there is a holiday and you get the day off from school.  Patriotism is an attitude that should be with you every day.  It shows in the way you speak about your country, in the way you care about your community, and in how you treat people in your every day life.

2nd Place Winner -- What I think it means to be Patriotic

     If you are patriotic you can show it in different ways.  You could show your patriotism by fighting in a war or shooting off fireworks on the Fourth of July.   I will tell you a few things that I think are patriotism.
     In a way you would say that playing in a professional sport is
patriotic.  An example of being patriotic in a sport is singing the National Anthem before you play.  You are  being patriotic, because you are representing your country.
     Another way  you are patriotic is by celebrating the Fourth of July or Independence Day.  The Fourth of July is a whole day that revolves around being patriotic.  When you shoot off  fireworks you are showing your patriotism.
     Another day that revolves around being patriotic is Flag day.
On Flag day, as you know, businesses and some homes  put flags up to represent their patriotism.
     Memorial Day and Labor Day represent Americans’