Lucas wins first place VFW Patriot’s Pen

Mackenzie Lucas won first-place in the local VFW Post 4491 Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest.

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

Patriotism is defined as, “the devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.” It has been proven generation through generation that the Veterans of the United States of America are the ultimate example of what it means to be a patriot.

Each year, the Veteran of Foreign War (VFW) opens its doors for young people to share their love of country as well. Billy Lee, the Commander of the local VFW Post 4491, visited the schools and invited students to participate.

Makenzie Lucas shared that she took on the challenge, with encouragement from her English teacher, Olivia Lee, Commander Lee and teacher Jeannie Guthrie. She entered the VFW Patriot’s Pen essay contest for middle school students and took first place.

Lee shared that she encouraged her students to participate. “You are the future of our beloved New Castle and country,” she mentioned to him. “Now is the time to show that spirit and take ownership of your education.”

She added, “Makenzie worked diligently for weeks crafting her essay. She is a model student, and is sure to make Craig County Public Schools proud in her bright future. She submitted a well written essay on the title, ‘What Makes America Great?’”

Part of her essay read, “Some people say America is a terrible place filled with bad people and violent events. But I think they’re wrong. America is a beautiful place. From the biggest cities to the smallest towns, we can live in harmony.”

“Think of America as a pretty farm. All is well on the farm. This is how we, as Americans, should act. We should work together for the greater good of our country, just like the animals and people work together for the greater good of the farm. With all the hustle and bustle of this farm, everyone is still happy. The humans and animals work from sun-up to sun-down. If you live on a farm, then you have to work together. Even the animals do. Let America be as the farm.”

“We have had lots of great presidents. From George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt, we’ve had some powerful leaders. It is important to honor these phenomenal innovators. This is why we have breathtaking monuments and statues, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and Mount Rushmore. As we continue to grow as a country, it’s important to honor our great past.”

“I like America because we do not have a main language. A long time ago, immigrants from all around the globe came to have a better life. In America, people speak Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and many more! America is a country of unity. Different countries come together as one. All these different cultures, traditions, races, and beliefs are puzzle pieces, put together as one big nation.”

“We can continue to make America great by working together. Even little things can make a difference. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or an animal shelter, or simply being kind. It all matters. Help a friend with their homework, visit a grandparent, help a classmate, grow a neighborhood garden or mow your neighbor’s yard. All these things make a difference. Everybody says kids are incapable of making a change. But we are the future. We are the change of our generation. We can make a difference.”

“All these things are true. They come from my heart and my heart says that America is great. America is true, tis trustworthy, tis amazing, tis capital, tis superior. In the simplest form, America is great.”