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Monday, May 2, 2016

My Pledge to America

Friday, March 7, 2003

Ahnya A. Alstott, eighth grader at North Clay Middle School, is the Veterans of Foreign Wars 2002 Patriot's Pen Contest essay winner. Clay County VFW Post 1127 awarded Alstott a $150 scholarship for her essay "My Pledge to America" Thursday. John Schraedley, (left) adjunct secretary and a Viet Nam veteran, and Jim Cassidy, post commander and Korean War veteran, thanked Alstott for her essay and hoped that it will help Americans remember what veterans have done, and are doing today, for our country and its youth.

It is a great privilege to live in America, where we have freedom and rights. Unfortunately, it took our country's tragedy to show me this. Now that I do know what a great privilege living in America really is, my pledge to America is to never forget, and never let others forget, what people have sacrificed their lives for: unity, love, freedom, peace, and our blessed America.

Many lives were lost in wars and terrorist attacks, but they were not in vain. I will always remember their sacrifice when I see the flag of the United States of America. Every time I stand to pledge my allegiance to my country or to sing our national anthem, the lives of those lost will flash before me. I respect their love for the country I live in. I am thankful that they were willing to fight for the freedom I enjoy. I will one day sit and tell my children and grandchildren the day our beloved towers fell, much like my generation hear of Pearl Harbor.

As our country grows older, the newer generations seem to take this country for granted. We have not had to give the same sacrifice that the first generations have had to give. All we know is freedom. We have never had to deal with the absence of religious tolerance. We don't understand racism. We don't always understand the importance of our country because it is all we have ever known. This past year, we realized that not all people are as fortunate as ourselves.

A new generation is learning what the United States of America really is. It isn't just a country, it's a people who love their country. It's the unity of different races, religions, backgrounds, and ideas. America, I pledge that I will teach my children and grandchildren the many values you have taught me, especially that we must always stand together and support one another, that in doing so, we will always have someone to lean on.

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