Olivia Sitzes, an eighth grade student at T.S. Hill Middle School, won the contest sponsored annually by the American Legion Auxiliary in Dexter for the best patriotic essay. This year's theme was "The Freedom I Enjoy the Most." Olivia's essay was ready aloud at the Veterans Day observance on Monday at the Bearcat Event Center. It follows:
The Freedom That I Enjoy the Most
The first amendment to the United States Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance."
The freedom that I enjoy the most is the freedom of assembly. We have this right and many others that other countries don't have. In some countries they cannot assemble without fear of getting shot or arrested. Most people don't think about how lucky we are to have this freedom and all our rights and freedoms. The freedom of assembly allows us to express ideas in public, to discuss problems, plan actions, or even to celebrate.
"Sometimes people take for granted living in a country with so many rights and freedoms. We have the right to assemble, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to an education, the right to petition, freedom of the press, equal justice, the right to own property, freedom of religion, and so much more thanks to our wonderful veterans and soldiers who have fought and are fighting for our rights and freedoms.
These freedoms mean a lot to me because I have a great grandparent and grandpas who are veterans. I know they worked hard fighting for our freedoms and rights. That's why I'm thankful that I have them. Most of us have veterans or soldiers in our families. We should always let them know how important they are to us, and that we know that we wouldn't have any of this without them.
In conclusion, thanks to all of our veterans, we have the right to meet here right now to honor and celebrate all of our veterans for their service and hard work. Right now I want to take the time to say a personal thank you to every single veteran here and every veteran that's gone or could not make it here today. Thank you for all your hard work. We literally would not be here without you."
By Olivia Sitzes