Meaning of freedom: County students win American Legion Essay Contest

Warren Area Elementary Center American Legion essay contest winners include, from left, Grayson Zale (third grade, third place), Elizabeth Rockwell (third grade, second place), Lennox Wagner (third grade, first place), Lilly Flick (fourth grade, first place), Alex Lent (fourth grade, second place) and Sidney Arnold (fourth trade, third place). Also in the photo are, at left, Pam Colvin, American Legion Contest Coordinator for Warren, and, right, Rebecca Downey, enrichment instructor.

What does freedom mean to me?

That was the prompt for this year’s American Legion Americanism Essay Contest.

Students across Warren County did the rest.

“Winners were selected from essay submissions from the various classes or age bands from each region in the county,” Rebecca Downey, enrichment instructor, explained.

The top three winners in each school received a monetary prize and have their essay now to go to the state competition.

Photos provided to the Times Observer Cailee Williams, a student at Eisenhower Elementary School, was first place at her school in the American Legion essay contest.

“Freedom means you can do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it,” Cailee Williams, an Eisenhower Elementary student wrote. “Abusing these freedoms can lead to consequences. Even though there are consequences for every choice you make, having the ability to choose is what makes freedom so important to me.”

“Freedom is the basic source of happiness as every other thing will reach us only if we have the liberty to do things,” Lilly Flick, a fourth-grader at Warren Area Elementary Center explained. “Freedom gives you the opportunity to take risks, make mistakes, learn from them, and improve your skills.

“Freedom to protect people who protect us is also important,” Lennox Wagner, a WAEC third-grader wrote. “No one should be a slave to anyone. It is OK to work hard and have a boss, as long as you are being paid.”

“I was born and raised almost my whole life in Ukraine, but almost two years ago war started once again,” Sasha Komina, who took first at Beaty-Warren Middle School, wrote. “In some cities people were harmfully forced to leave our country, and go to Russian territory. If they didn’t leave, they would harm and kill those innocent people.

“At the moment, our country is fighting for our freedom. If we don’t fight, Russia would have taken over our country and they would control us. Russia has different opinions and rules than us that we don’t agree with, and if they would take over our country we would have no freedom (of) speech, no freedom of doing something or anything.”

“I want people to know what’s happening,” she added, “because not any of the innocent people that just wanted to live a peaceful life deserve any of this.”

According to the American Legion Auxiliary, the American Essay Contest was created to “teach students the value of patriotism and what it means to be Americans. Thousands of students participate in the program each year and help promote a lifelong respect of our flag and country.”


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