Don’t think young people respect the service of America’s military veterans? Here are the words of two local students who prove that young people do appreciate and revere the courage and sense of duty that veterans showed by their commitment to their country.
Emma Winter and Cami Emerick won the Middletown VFW Post 1620’s 2015 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay contest with their essays describing their appreciation and respect for veterans. Winter won among writers in grades 9 through 12, while Emerick won among writers in grades 6 through 8.
Here are their winning essays:
"The fight for freedom: Our veterans and why they matter"
By Cami Emerick
In America, we are known for our strength, integrity and compassion. We have fought many battles for our freedoms, and we have sacrificed many lives in order to keep it. Still, we cannot forget about those who have fought for us and have fallen but with time grew strong again. These people are our veterans, and now it is our turn to fight for them.
Unfortunately, our veterans are often taken for granted. We don’t think of them as much because they are not currently fighting for us. We cannot forget about what they’ve done for us, what they have given to protect us. They have sacrificed living average lives, like getting a job or finding a husband or wife. They have left their families and their friends behind, all while knowing that they may never return home. So many soldiers have died for us, and we need to be more appreciative of the lucky ones that come back alive. In America, we are graced with having freedom, democracy and many opportunities, through we sometimes overlook how we ended up where we are today. Freedom is not free. Veterans are living proof of our victories, and they should serve as reminders that we are Americans, and we were born to be free. Veterans are some of the most patriotic and dedicated people you will ever meet. They understand that life is a precious thing that needs to be guarded and cherished. I believe that this understanding is something that many Americans do not have and do not even know they need. Our veterans can teach us these things from their experiences so that we may incorporate them into our own.
We are so very lucky that we have so many courageous men and women willing to protect us even though they don’t even know us. The veterans have seen friends fall and have had parts of their lives destroyed by bullets and grenades. They are an example of who all people should be: disciplined, kind, protective and brave. We should be more respectful of our wounded warriors, and we should continue our battle for freedom for all, so that everyone may be able to experience the greatness of America.
"Why veterans are important to our nation's history and future"
By Emma Winter
You probably don’t even recognize they are right in front of you, behind you, at the other table, even right within your community. These are veterans, people who served this country and were willing to die for America and the privileges and freedom it gives us. All veterans are important to the history and future of our country.
We are not only losing about 1,000 World War I veterans daily, but CNN News also states we are losing many veterans from World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars. My grandfather is one of these veterans who fought in World War II along with Charlie Clark, a family friend who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. They both hold memories, stories and experiences that have never been told. After Major Dick Winter invaded Normandy it was my grandfather’s job to guard prisoners, and clean up the rubbish, airplane parts and damaged equipment from the area. The stories veterans hold are important to our nation’s history and they need to be told and passed on from generation to generation because it gives us a personal perspective of their experiences that you can’t just read in a book. They are walking pieces of history that we are letting disappear right at our fingertips, unable to ever retrieve those memories they possessed ever again.
Veterans are the heroes of America. People who stepped up and answered the call to serve, putting their lives on hold and their lives at risk. Veterans aren’t getting the recognition and treatment they deserve. According to VA.gov, about 58,000 veterans were homeless on a January night in 2013. How are we letting veterans who just protected America become homeless and forgotten? Some lost limbs, hearing and vision because of war and when they come back to America, they can’t even get a job. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which makes them susceptible to drug usage, unable to keep a job and even the lack of support from family and friends. We are always in search for those to step up and serve our country, but the way many veterans are treated will scare them away. No one will want to serve our country if it means they will be left homeless, jobless and/or without a family. That’s why we need to give the necessary help and recognition they deserve. “People thank me for serving this country when I am out and about,’’ said Charlie Clark. “It actually brings tears to my eyes, and I feel a sense of pride.’’ This is what all veterans should feel. Proud.
Yes, veterans are normal people like us but their extraordinary acts of bravery, courage and willingness to serve sets them apart. They hold experiences and stories that make up our nation’s history, showing our mistakes and our accomplishments, but many of these stories go untold. We are forgetting these veterans for what they have achieved, leaving them homeless and leaving us without a sense of security. We need to acknowledge them in our community and around the globe because they are important to both the history and future of America. If you see a veteran or know one thank them for their service. If you see a young man or woman in uniform thank them for serving. It may only be a small gesture but as Charlie said, “It brings a tear to my eye and I feel a sense of pride.’’
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 16:33
From The Wednesday, March 25, 1992 Edition Of The Press And Journal
Diamond Anniversary Of Middletown Red Cross Chapter Noted
The Middletown Area Chapter of the American Red Cross recently observed 75 years of service and sacrifice to the local community, holding a special banquet and celebration for its dedicated volunteers on Monday, March 16.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 16:00
How would you spend an evening in Paris? At a cafe, sipping coffee, eating pastries and listening to music?
The Middletown Area High School choir took listeners on that adventure in a concert on Thursday, March 19 at the school cafeteria to raise money for its programs. Soloists, duos, trios and ensembles sang selections as the audience enjoyed coffee and desserts at the annual concert.
See who performed!
Photos by Kris Carson and Jodi Ocker
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 14:58
From The Wednesday, March 18, 1992 Edition Of The Press And Journal
Food Drive Challenge
Members of the FFA of Lower Dauphin Junior-Senior High School are challenging their fellow students in the Lower Dauphin School District to “burst their bags” for the FFA’s third annual food drive.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 16:57
Would you sell your soul to the devil if your favorite Major League baseball team could win the pennant and vanquish the dreaded New York Yankees just once?
The cast of Middletown Area High School’s spring musical, “Damn Yankees,’’ did just that, and rode the resulting comedy and song to (SPOILER ALERT!) a happy ending during the show’s run from March 6 through March 8 at the high school auditorium.
The Adler and Ross musical debuted on Broadway in 1955, and has become an American theater staple ever since.
Check out scenes from the musical – and the cast’s final bows, which appear on C8!
Photos by Jodi Ocker
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 15:50