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 was second locally.
Our flag has flown in every battle in every war. The flag is what we see every day and we sometimes overlook. Our flag stands for freedom and all we take for granted. When we say the Pledge every morning at school, we should think not about friends or what we are going to do at recess. We should think more about the men and women who gave their life for our freedom and country.
The colors: red stands for hardiness and valor, white signifies purity and innocence, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. The stars mean 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the 13 colonies. Even though everyone says that the 50 stars mean 50 states, to me it also represents different beliefs.
Bob Waugh and Robby Stetson, two veterans, came to talk to the sixth grade and here is what they said: ?The flag is everything a veteran fights for so when you disrespect the flag, you are disrespecting every veteran who fights for our flag.?
Our flag has been burned, stomped on and ripped, but when it flies after a battle or war that we have won, it flies proud. We all should give the flag the most dignity and the most respect because not only for this country, but all the men and women who sacrificed their lives for this country and their freedom.
That is what the flag means to me. So I hope if you see any veteran, tell them thank you. If you sing the songs of the United States of America and you stand for the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, then you respect every veteran who fought in every war. If you do all that then you are a true, pure American patriot.
? Caitlyn M. Wiley, age 11, daughter of Christy Wiley and Tim Wiley. Caitlyn lives in Keosauqua and attends Van Buren Community Schools.