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Trio winners of MAMS Veterans Day essay contest

Posted 12/18/19

Zoe Handwerk (grade 6), Kylie Hickoff (grade 7) and Taylor Witmyer (grade 8) were selected as the 2019 Middletown Area Middle School Veterans Day essay winners.

This year's theme was "What Makes …

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Trio winners of MAMS Veterans Day essay contest


Zoe Handwerk (grade 6), Kylie Hickoff (grade 7) and Taylor Witmyer (grade 8) were selected as the 2019 Middletown Area Middle School Veterans Day essay winners.

This year's theme was "What Makes America Great?" Each winner was awarded $50 in prize money.

Here are the winning essays.

Zoe Handwerk 

We are fortunate to have the honor to call America home. This great country has everything we have ever needed, from the kind people that live here to our strong military. Not only that, but we have the most valuable thing of all - freedom.

First of all, America has millions of wonderful people that help each other. For example, Ryan Hickman, at the age of seven, has helped us maintain a clean and safe environment. He has recycled over 630 thousand bottles and cans. He has also donated over nine thousand dollars to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Many people can be like Ryan and practice acts of kindness. Making others happy not only makes one feel good, but it increases your own happiness. America is a team and we must work together.

Secondly, our armed forces are a key part of America’s greatness. Our military is protecting us everyday, regardless of the occasion. There are people watching the oceans, land, and air. We are very fortunate to have such a strong military, otherwise there would be nobody defending our rights. Our military is essential for our lifestyle. Additionally, our country has something others may not have - freedom. In 1776, we fought for independence from England to claim our rights as a country. We have the right to our religious beliefs without persecution and the ability to better ourselves within this amazing country. America is a wonderful and unique country. We have freedom, kind people, and the knowledge that we are safe. This makes America truly great.What Makes America Great

Kylie Hickoff

What makes America great? Sometimes this question slips out of our minds. We are so lucky to live in this country, and we dont even realize it sometimes. America is great, for two main reasons.

When I hear the question,What makes America Great?”, I first think of freedom. Freedom means so much to me because I know some kids dont have the life we have, the freedom we have. We can be whoever we want to be. We dont all have to be coal miners or factory workers. We can be teachers, engineers, doctors, or anything we want to become. We also get to go to school. I know I know some kids dislike school, but there are kids around the world that would love the schooling we get. We have so many opportunities in the palm of our hands from this beautiful country we live in that we sometimes forget how lucky we are.

Thomas Jefferson said this excellent quote about freedom that states,The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” This quote demonstrates how freedom is more than we could ever imagine and so many opportunities come with it. Freedom is why I believe America is excellent.

Another answer to the question, “What Makes America Great,” is our diversity. It doesnt matter what color you are, you could even be purple and be happy in this country. We have many great African American leaders, like Robert Abbott, and Richard Allen, and many white leaders like Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. Anybody has an opportunity in this country. You just have to use it. Anybody can study any religion that suites them. We dont all have to be Christians, but rather we can be Buddhists or even have no religion at all.

This quote from Kofi Annan is incredible and it states,We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” This quote shows how everybody can fit in, just because they have a different skin tone, or religion, doesnt mean they have to stand out because of it. Diversity is why I believe America is great.

America is great, especially because of freedom and diversity. This question is so important so never let it slip out of your mind.What Makes America Great

Taylor Witmyer

On August 2, 1776, our founding fathers declared freedom from Britain and wrote the Declaration of Independence. A couple of years later, the constitution was born. America started off as a small country, but look at us now.This is America: a country of diversity, freedom, great power, and liberty and justice for all, but what makes America great, exactly? Is it the constitution and our rights as a citizen? Or is the ability to self govern and the control each citizen has over our country? The point is, there isn’t just one thing that makes America great, and freedom and diversity are just two qualities this country has to make it so wonderful.

The freedom America gives to its citizens is what makes it so glorious.

The freedom of religion, the right to own a gun, and many other rights you have as a citizen give you that freedom. America has fought in several wars to gain these rights, but why? We fight for freedom because it is one of the many things that define this country. In the words of former president John F. Kennedy, “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never chose, and that’s the path of surrender and submission.” Freedom is important to every citizen of the United States.

In fact, many immigrants start new lives here for the freedom.

The diversity in this country is so beautiful. If you look around today, there are many people of different skin tones, religions, and cultures. While we have fought racism and slavery in past it only made us Americans stronger. George H. W. Bush put it this way, “This is America: a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light, in a broad peaceful sky.”  Each and every citizen is different, but we still come together and put our differences aside to make America terrific.

America is great, but why? This country is so beautiful because we have all these rights that come together and give us freedom.

America is great because we put our differences aside and come together as one nation. Diversity is another quality America has to make it exquisite.

No matter what you think makes America great, we should all agree this country is wonderful. We should all be proud to be American, and God bless the USA.