Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions were recently sponsored by theVFW Post and Auxilliary of Preston, Minn. The following essays were chosen for first and second place, with winners each receiving a plaque, certificate and cash award for their effort.
– Voice of Democracy –
What makes America great
Oliver Hoelztle, 1st Place
In general terms, the United States of America has many different facets that make it a great country. From how our government handles the power it is given, to how the people abide by the laws the government set, America is quite the place to be. With very little power corruption, the basic rights, and high standards of living, these are just a few examples of what makes America great. These are just some things that I think make America great.
To begin, America has one of the highest standards of living out of any other country on Earth. The amazing medical services we have let us live healthier lives, with doctors and professionals that I can trust my health to. Houses and property are cheap in America as well, along with groceries and basic necessities. Additionally, crime rates are lower than those in other countries, which, in turn, lets many businesses thrive. It is all linked together and in the end, contributes to our greatness.
Civil stability is also a very important factor. I can go to bed every night and wake up without danger waiting right outside my door. The concept of the American people working together and behaving is a great facet that some other countries sadly don’t have. In case civil stability is disturbed, our police force is there to take care of it soundly, as to continue protecting us. I don’t ever go a day without appreciating how I can safely go to school and return home. It makes America great.
The economy of the United States is among the largest in the world. Our gross domestic product is the highest in the world, with a current measure of 19.3 trillion dollars. Part of what gives us the best economy in the world is how we have the freedoms to contribute to it. Starting your own business or finding a placement job has never been easier, and I am lucky to live in a time where economic activity is at its best.
Perhaps the best thing that defines America and makes it great are human rights. The bill of rights is a basic list rights given to citizens. We can protest against things we disagree. We can follow our own religions and ideologies. We can meet on our own terms to discuss any topic. Many of the rights in America are not universal, and lots of countries don’t even have access to the basic rights all humans should have. Lucky for me, I live in a country that has such rights.
There is also a military that protects all of these great things. From the Coast Guard to the Marines, there are people out there that protect all of my freedoms and rights. They know that when they serve their country they help everyone in it, which makes them great people. America is very safe from international threats because of these great people.
America is defined by its greatness. With the balanced and ethical law system, civil stability, and a powerful economy, The United States of America certainly is the country to behold. I can observe the greatness of America through all of these facets. After all, greatness is a very broad term, but America does its best to fit in to the highest standards of life. America is a great country. There is no other country where I would want to be.
What makes America great
Pailey Gordon, 2nd Place
I’m going to let you in on a little personal story. I have been growing up in a rural, small town in the great state of Minnesota. I live with my two siblings and my parents. And let me tell you, even with my generally small household, there are an infinite amount of differences between all of us. From the movies that nobody can ever agree on watching, to what we want for dinner, it’s endless. Another thing we all generally disagree on is, you guessed it, politics!
Politics take up a majority of our morning, afternoon, and evening conversations. Nevertheless, when someone’s views are displayed, fair debate is always open. We all get a chance to say our views and thoughts. That is what I truly think makes America great, not just because I love debates (even though I do!) I think America is great because of our differences.
All the time on the news, we see all sorts of quarrels between two ideals, we groan and turn the channel because we don’t want to hear the bickering. Now, let’s take a moment to think about this; what if we never had any differences in opinions? What if we all just conformed to one belief system? Would we be as advanced as we are as a society?
Former President, John F. Kennedy, once said, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” If we all conformed to one ideal I- like former president Kennedy- strongly believe that we would not have the advancements that we do in our country today if we were all identical. Acceptance is at an all-time-high for different religions, identities, and many other things. How boring would our country be if we Americans all were the same, had the same ideals, and all agreed on every single topic? I think we would be a very bland country and probably not as accepting as we are today to others who may be from other regions of the world.
Open dialogue opens us up to new ideas, such as learning about new religions, cultures, and ways of life. In America, we are a literal melting pot. We have so many different lifestyles right here in our own country that it would be devastating to not learn about any of them.
As a country, if we were to not have open dialogue we would literally be at war with ourselves. We have so many different views that if we were to not talk, there would be endless amounts of suppression to people who we would see as “different”. We would not be willing to learn and accept all these different ways of life and we would hate most people in our own country just because we would lack the understanding that we have today, but since we have open dialogue, we see different ways people live their lives that we don’t even take a second look.
We get to choose who we want to be because of our freedom, we aren’t limited on how we express ourselves. Choosing what you want to be like, dress like, and act like are solely based on what you want to become and I think that is really amazing.
So, next time you turn on the TV and you see people debating, just sit and listen. Maybe you will understand where both sides are coming from, and why they believe what they believe. Listening to both sides of an argument can open your eyes to a bunch of new opportunities. Maybe you will be lucky enough to learn a new fact about another culture or religion! Overall, America is full of opportunity and diversity and that is what I think makes our country great.
– Patriot’s Pen –
What makes America great
Siri Corson, 1st Place
What makes America great is not only found in the development of our technology, but in the citizens who reside here, bound by the bond of passion for their country and a love for the people. Our country has endless opportunities, and it is home to many who find our country a sanctuary of peace and a new beginning.
The backbone of our country is the people. When the preamble of The United States Constitution states “We the people of the United States,” it’s not about one person, but all the people of our country as a whole. In school we learn about the people who came together in the 1700s to support our country. It’s no different now. We work together to learn new things, create solutions, and make a future for the children. The good citizens hold others’ values in their hearts and work to make others’ dreams realities. We all play a part in our country, and we all have the power to impact a nation
America is known as a land of new beginnings. Everyone has his/her own different hopes of a new beginning. While some dream of a new job and a nice house to raise a family, others hope for a safe home, free of war and fear. People come to America because it’s the place they feel will provide safety and stability for their families. I am lucky to live in a land of peace and freedom!
Our greatness lies in the knowledge of our teachers, the words of our parents, the simple song of a child. Every day we work towards a better world. Every day we learn new things. Our country has new opportunities for everyone. In our country we don’t just have a passion for our citizens but also for the other people of the world. You can feel our love for others in the aid we send to countries in need, in the money we donate for those facing poverty, in the help we bring to those in devastation.
Our country is a place where people can live free, and it’s such a blessing to live here. Every day is something new, we all learn new things and develop as a community. As a country we have a passion for our nation, and it’s that same spirit that makes me proud to be an American.
What makes America great
Audra Otto, 2nd Place
There are many reasons that make our country such a great one. However, three reasons that contribute to this really stand out to me. The first reason is our many freedoms. Second, the endless opportunities for anyone and everyone. The last reason is simply put: our determination and grit.
It’s a well-known fact that Americans enjoy many rights and freedoms that are given to them because it is their right to have them. Some of these rights include freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. I feel such a sense of pride to know that I live in a country where I am entitled to these rights. Here, we can say whatever we want to whomever we want; our voices are heard. These freedoms are a important part of our great nation.
Another reason that America is great is because there are endless opportunities for anyone and everyone, no matter their race, gender or nationality. Many people have come to America looking for a second chance and they have found that and more. Here, you can choose to follow whatever path you wish. You can chase your dreams, no matter how outlandish they might seem. In America, nothing will hold you back once you set your mind to accomplishing something great.
Now, our country wasn’t born with these rights. There were men and women who had to fight, sacrifice their time, sacrifice their lives, for us to have these rights today. That brings me to the third reason that our country is great: the pure grit and determination of the people who live here. All of the brave men and women who have or who are serving in the armed forces show the highest imaginable amount of grit and determination. They know it’s going to be tough; the training, the heartbreak, leaving home. Still, they soldier on for us.
Even the people who aren’t in the armed forces show plenty of determination: when we Americans put our mind to something, nothing can hold us back. We are able to chase our dreams because of our freedoms and rights that everybody is given. So, if you asked me why America is great, I’d answer that America is great because of the rights and freedoms we are given, as well as the courageous men and women who suffered and fought valiantly for us to have those rights and opportunities.