2018 Veterans’ Day Essay Winners

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Left: Dan Steele and his wife were greeted by Raider reporters, Jackson Grimland and Sebastian Dash, after the program.
Right: 2018 Essay Winners: Aman Azim, Aaliyah Allensworth and Jaron Imler

On Friday, November 9, 2018, the students and staff of Middletown Area Middle School
honored area veterans at the school’s annual Veterans’ Day Program.
The guest speaker was Dan Steele. Mr. Steele’s words to his fellow veterans and
his expressions of gratefulness for the loving support of his wife yielded many tears from young and old alike.

“Why I Honor the American Flag” 2018 Essay Winners:


Azim.Aman2Aman Azim, Grade 6

John Wayne once said, “Sure, I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure, I love my country with all its faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be”. I completely agree with John Wayne. For us Americans the flag is not just Stars and Stripes on cloth, but represents the blood, sweat, and tears it took to raise this country from the ashes of another.

Americans have honored this flag since 1777, and we have a duty to continue to do so. By honoring the American flag, we show respect to every race, religion, and gender who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this nation. Many wars were fought, many lives were lost, but at the end, this flag is what unites us.

The American flag is so much more than just a flag. Every part of it is symbolic of the values that we as Americans hold true. Even the colors on our flag symbolize something much greater. The color red shows courage and bravery, values that are extremely important during troubling times, and the color blue shows justice, a value that America is based upon. The stars are added to the flag to respect the fifty states, and the stripes are added to respect the first thirteen colonies.

If our flag respects us so much, isn’t it important that we respect it as well? Will we just stomp on the country that honors us most? Or will we love it, like it has loved us? We need to make sure that we admire and stand for this flag, and cherish the freedoms that it brings with it. We need to make sure that we give respect back to the flag, the country, and the people that have sacrificed everything and have given us so much. No matter what happens, our country will be there for us, and we will be there for it as well.

Our flag will forever stand, and remind us of the pain and suffering our veterans faced while giving us the freedoms we enjoy. This flag will also forever serve as a symbol of our unity as a country, and our patriotism will be the wind that allows this flag to fly high.


Allensworth.AaliyahAaliyah Allensworth, Grade 7

We honor the American flag every single day, sometimes in ways we don’t realize. As Americans, we put our hands over our hearts every day for the pledge without even thinking twice, but why do it? It is to respect and honor all those who put their lives on the line every day. We put our hands over our hearts because it allows us to have a deeper and more honest understanding of the sacrifices given daily for our freedom. Every one of us has freedom because our military forces make great sacrifices. Rachel Mower once said, “In the US people are asked to put their right hand over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance as a sign of respect. That gesture, it turns out, can do more than just symbolize dignity and honor. According to new research, when we place our hands over our hearts we tend to be more honest.” When Rachel stated that placing our hands over our hearts makes us more honest it clarified and caused Americans to better and more honestly understand the sacrifices given to protect our flag.

While placing our hands over our hearts shows our respect and honesty, there are other ways to demonstrate this. Such as, not letting the flag touch the ground. By not letting the flag touch the ground we are showing that we do not want to disgrace nor dishonor the symbol of our country’s freedom. If the flag would touch the ground, it would be dirtied and damaged rather quickly which would be considered disgraceful to the flag. If the flag doesn’t touch the ground that means that it will be above all which could be viewed metaphorically as a symbol of its importance. The US flag code states,” The flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground. This is… to protect it from becoming soiled or damaged. As long as the flag remains suitable for display… you may continue to display the flag.” As the flag code stated, the flag must be in good condition to display it as to show respect.

We respect the flag every day in ways we don’t even realize like not letting the flag touch the ground, and putting our hands over our hearts during the pledge. Showing respect to our flag allows us to honor our country and work towards having liberty and justice for all which is the American dream.


Imler.JaronJaron Imler, Grade 8

Honoring our flag is not just standing up for three minutes before sporting events. When standing for the flag, we Americans are showing respect to our astounding country. It is important that we honor our flag to respect those heroic men and women who fight for our freedom. We need to honor our flag so that future generations will respect it just the same, and keep our country alive.

Pledging to our flag honors those brave men and women fighting each day to protect our freedom. Different men and women decide each year that they want to protect and serve their great country; The United States of America. Their heroic decision deserves our recognition and our respect. Our Pledge of Allegiance ends in the words, “Liberty and justice for all.” We show respect to our soldiers by saying those words as they are securing our liberty and justice. Alexander Hamilton once said, “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” We need to honor the bravery and heroism of the great men and women who serve the United States by standing and respecting our flag.

We also honor our flag so that we can keep America alive for years, decades, and centuries to come. Our children of the next generation will grow up with strong patriotism towards our country, only if we love and respect our country now as an example for them. We stand for our hopes of our children’s future whenever we are honoring our flag. Our magnificent flag consists of the colors red, white, and blue. The color white represents purity and innocence of our children. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed onto them to do the same.” Every single day we keep America alive by standing for our great flag.

While honoring the American flag, we are respecting the men and women who serve our country. We are standing for our future generations to keep America alive for centuries. I honor the American flag so that America stays the greatest country in the world.

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