Bree Kirkhart

Editor?s note: The Iowa Elks Association invites all sixth-graders to submit an essay on ?Our Flag - What it Means to Me.? The following essay won first locally, first in the southeast district of Iowa and third at state.


When I received this assignment, I took some time to think about what I wanted to write. What an honor, I thought to myself, to write about an amazing symbol of our great nation ... a symbol that has so much significance to our values, opportunities, and most of all, to our everyday freedom.

On Memorial Day, my dad and I go up to the cemetery in Cantril and hang flags for the soldiers who died in war. When you see the flag and hear that National Anthem start to play, standing should be a priority for everyone that is able. When you see a veteran, you should thank them because if it wasn?t for their sacrifice to fight for our nation, you probably wouldn?t be free.

We honor their service, as well as the service of the ones who didn?t make it home.

The flag and anthem pay respect to all of the soldiers that fought in past wars; and to those who are currently fighting or who are enlisted to protect us. They knew that there was a chance that they could die, but they went anyway. They went to protect you; they went to protect their families, and they went to protect our nation?s future.

Some people would say that Captain America or spiderman are their heroes. Those superheroes are nowhere close to my heroes.

My heroes are those soldiers who fought in war, knowing that many of them weren?t coming back home. The colors of the flag represent everything that makes a soldier. Freedom. Honesty. Peace. Loyalty. Integrity. Bravery.

Those six words define my heroes. The flag is a symbol of every one of our soldiers, my heroes, fighting for every one of us.


? Bree Kirkhart, age 11, daughter of Kellie Simmions-Kirkhart. Bree is from Cantril and attends Van Buren Community Schools.