Patriots Pen & Voice of Democracy 2020

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 This year we received a tremendous response for our Post Patriot’s Pen essay contest. Please enjoy these well written essays. The theme is: What is Patriotism to Me? The essays are in no particular order but our top three picks are identified.




What is Patriotism to Me?

What does patriotism mean to me? Patriotism is kindness, support, and respect. When I think of patriotism it reminds me what my mom has taught me since I was just a little kid, "Always be kind and respectful no matter race or looks." This relates to patriotism.

You cannot be afraid to show love and pride for your own country, but that does not mean you should disrespect other counties. I myself am a Mexican/American, and love Mexico because it's part of who I am and where I come from. Even though I do come from a different country I still have respect for America, my new home, and every other country out there.

If you think about it, patriotism is like the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." This rule applies to patriotism, do unto other countries as you would have other countries do unto you. We don't simply respect our nation, we respect it because of all it has been through to become an incredible country and all that has been sacrificed to keep it great.

Patriots don't always have red capes like superheroes, they come in camouflage uniforms or in scrubs and a mask. Our patriots are the military, doctors, nurses, and everyone who makes our homes safer and better. These patriots are the people who fight for us no matter what, and especially include our fallen soldiers who we have lost while they were protecting our freedom. How can we forget about our military families? They stay strong when their loved ones are out there fighting and deployed. They deserve so much appreciation and gratitude because they are staying strong knowing that their loved one is risking their life for our safety and freedom.

In conclusion, patriotism is not only respect but kindness, support, love, and understanding. We have all gone through a lot to get where we are today, and many have sacrificed all to make us free. Don't be afraid to stand by your country and be patriotic, that is what patriotism is to me!




"May we never forgot our fallen comrades. Freedom isn't free." — Sgt. Major Bill Paxton. This quote reminds me of what happens in war and why freedom cost much more than any price. War has death otherwise it wouldn't be war. What is patriotism mean to me? Well this is what I feel patriotism is to me.

What is patriotism? Well its technical definition is "devotion to and vigorous support for ones country." For me the truest act of patriotism is leaving your country and risking your life in the line of battle or losing your life that way. The United States fight not just for themselves but many of their allies in the world. Some vet make it out with just a lost limb others don't make it out at all. Patriotism isn't just fighting battles it is helping friends or a comrade. Many people are and have fought in a war and more than a million men and women have lost their lives in the line of duty to protect this country.

I know people who have risked their lives for this country. My grandfather was an MP during the Nuremberg trials in Berlin, Germany. My big brother was a Medic in the Wyoming National Guard and served in Bahrain and Afghanistan. My step- father was in the Army and fought in 1st Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) and the Iraq War as a forward observer/ sniper. He doesn't talk about it much but I know it was extremely dangerous for him. My other grandfather also was in the army in Korea . I never met him but I know I was named after him and how he survived months in enemy lines and was only a few of his entire platoon to make it out alive.

These things might not tell you much about my family but you can see my family has risked their lives for you and I. So for me patriotism is risking your life for someone or battling for a common interest or a common goal. Patriotism lives in the USA and the people.



This is What Patriotism is to Me

When I think of Patriotism I don't think of the actual definition. I think of people who are in military services who sacrifice their lives. Or people who just respect and honor the country of the United States of America. I honestly believe if you respect our country and help with any issues in the United States you are Patriotic. I believe this because you really don't have to be in the military to be patriotic, (even though I highly respect people who risk their lives for our country) you just have to respect the United States and just help out with even the slightest of problems in our country.

One reason that the example of being in military services is patriotism to me is because these people are completely sacrificing their lives for the people of the United States and the United States itself. Adding to that, even after a long shift at work they still go home and make time for their family. Sometimes they have to go fight somewhere but other than that they do their best to be with their family. I cant imagine what families go through when a loved one is over seas fighting. They inspire others to do what they do even, if it will be hard. These are the reasons that this is patriotism to me.

The reason I think honoring and respecting the United States is patriotic is because being thankful and praising all the hard work that goes into making America great shows that you really care about this country. It shows that you know to sacrifice and put others before yourself, and not want people to only pay attention to you. It shows that you care about what others are doing for you.

Finally, patriotism has the word patriot in it. Patriot means a person who is willing to defend their country against enemies. A patriot man, woman, or even child. Anyone who supports their country. What is patriotism to me? Patriotism is the the best thing any country in the world can have, I believe this because this means the citizens of the country love their country and are willing to sacrifice their lives to save this country and what it represents.

This is Patriotism to Me.




What is Patriotism to Me?

Do you ask yourself if you are a patriot? Most people will say yes, if you ask them why, they most likely would say they fight for what they believe in. I believe that patriotism is not what is in the head but what is in the heart. Not many of us can say what our hearts know. There are different types of people. There are ones that live only by their words alone or there are people that live by their actions. I have always known that I have loved where I live. All my life I have been thankful for the people that have done right by the world.

In the Revolutionary War, people came together for a common belief, freedom. When I think about patriotism, I think about the first people to lay down their lives for the future of others. I read about people making sacrifices for the common good. What patriotism means to me is thinking about other's futures, believing in yourself, and the willingness to find what is right. Patriotism is so many things to many different people, but people change just like each generation.

When I think of patriots, l think about the lives that were lost in the pursuit of freedom and happiness. Both of my grandfathers served in wars overseas, and their experiences have impacted their lives and our family's lives. One of my grandfathers is 90 years old and can still beat me in a race up a hill! He has taught me by his example to stand back from a crowd but to never lose touch with the people. He is a quiet man, but his heart is made of something more valuable than gold.

Patriotism is a part of your heart not your head, and we have received our country and government from patriots. Patriotism is in our history and it will be in our future if we remember all the sacrifices made for us. Every war was fought by patriots and won with the inspiration of their patriotism. We know what is right and wrong because we were taught what is to be expected.

We all have our own meaning for patriotism. Patriotism is remembering the lives that were lost for what we believe in and being thankful for everything we have.




What is Patriotism to Me?

Being an American comes with many responsibilities and displaying your patriotism is one of the most important ones. According to Oxford Dictionary, patriotism is showing your pride and devotion to your country, but the word's meaning can vary based on a person's values and where they grew up. In my opinion, patriotism is demonstrating your loyalty to your community, demonstrating American pride, and supporting your country and its interests.

Americans show loyalty in many ways. I do this by obeying the law. Along with this, you can also show your loyalty by standing up for the Constitution and supporting freedom of speech and the right to assemble. For instance, protests can display other people's points of view and help others be more open minded, and participants in these protests can also show their American pride.

This brings me to my next point. Showing your delight in being American is a great way to present your patriotism to the world. A way that many people do this is by participating in traditions that honor America. For example, the Fourth of July is an American holiday that many partake in. Not only can celebrating holidays show your respect, but many citizens tend to display an American flag at their homes.

When I think of patriotism, supporting America comes to mind. A very popular way to do this is by taking part in the economy. People can partake in the economy many different ways by getting a job, spending money which expands the economy. I also believe that patriotism can be shown by voting and participating in elections. Electing the president of our country is a big deal and once you get the opportunity, you really should take advantage of it.

Patriotism is one of those words that can have a different meaning to everyone. It's a very popular word among many Americans because it shows our thanks and gratitude to our country. Although my definition may not be the same as others, this is what patriotism means to me, and I believe that this is how I can show my pride and devotion to my country.

By Landen: 3rd  Place Essay for VFW Post 11453. Congratulations!




What is Patriotism to Me?

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America - it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country." Stated by Calvin Coolidge

The definition of Patriotism is looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. But, in my words Patriotism is being loyal and respectful to your country and it's leader. You may not like your country's leader, but you should respect him or her. Voting every four years for our president is doing your patriotic duty. Citizens also show patriotism by paying their taxes and bills, supporting their local economy, and keeping the United States as they found her.

Even if you don't agree with our president, you should respect the title of the office. When referring to the president you should say, "President Trump."( or whoever your leader may be.) Patriotism includes participating in the voting process. When you vote, you are anonymously telling who you think is the best candidate for the job. When you don't vote, you don't get the right to complain about whether you like the winner or not. Even though there aren't legal consequences, there are no good reasons not to vote.

Patriotism is doing your part as a citizen. As a citizen, you support local businesses to keep them running, and pay your taxes so schools are open and kids get an education. Citizens pay their bills on time to help their towns or cities run smoothly. Local politics is a way to keep America strong, proud and free.

"Patriotism means to stand with the country. It does not mean to stand with the President." -Theodore Roosevelt. This means you don't have to like your President, but you respect him or her and your country. Combining doing your part, respecting your president, and supporting your economy is patriotism to me. Have you ever wondered what Patriotism means to you as a United States citizen?




What is Patriotism to Me?

Even though our country is in a tumultuous state, most Americans remain patriotic. Being patriotic can mean different things to different people. Military service members and their families provide a service to our country and demonstrate support to America in ways many civilians may never understand. However, most communities demonstrate patriotism to our country daily. In whatever way people decide to illustrate their support, I believe that patriotism is exemplifying loyalty to your country.

Military families sacrifice enormously to show their patriotism. Many families move multiple times, and never truly have the opportunity to call a place "home". These families will normally end up in new places they have never been. Children of military members have to change schools often and they have to leave their friends behind. This is one area that I have experience. It can be tough, but military kids are also very lucky. We get to have friendships all over the country. Another act of patriotism that family members of military servicemen show would be having to make the ultimate sacrifice of watching their loved ones go to war. Deployment is one sacrifice that my family and I are all too familiar with. My dad has been deployed several times, and it's hard every time. Military families have to sacrifice more than most civilians could ever understand, but we do it out of love for our military members and our country.

Communities can show their patriotism in different ways. One of the most meaningful ways that a community can show their support is by offering military vets meaningful jobs. So many of our veterans are homeless and jobless. When the community gives the veterans opportunities to work, they are helping to build up the people who serve and protect us. Another way that communities demonstrate patriotism is after a disaster occurs. Countless people offer their time and services to help those in need. One of the most remembered times that communities from all over came together for our country is 9/11. Our country was stronger than ever due to the banding of communities and their great sacrifices that were made to help those in need.

Whether you are white, black, young, or old, patriotism is the same for all. We, as Americans, have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and understand that our country was built on some of the greatest sacrifices known to man.

By Mariah: 2nd Place Essay for VFW Post 11453. Congratulations!




What is Patriotism to Me?

Patriotism can be shown in many different ways. For me, it is understanding faith, love, and loyalty to your nation and its citizens. Patriotism is shown by both military service members, citizens of America, and the leaders of our great country. People show patriotism every day and most do not realize what a difference it makes. Patriotism is shown through selflessness and loyalty and being willing to dedicate your services to helping those in need. One of the most amazing ways that people of America, whether they serve in the military or are citizens, can show their patriotism is when a disaster, natural or otherwise, occurs.

September 11, 2001 was one of our countries most tragic and horrific acts of terror. As horrible as it was, we were able to come together as a country and band together. People from all over felt the pain and heartache of the victims and their families. It brought people to together in a time of crisis. In the years to come after September 11th, our country, military, and our leaders needed our support. Even after 19 years, patriotism is still strong. We remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day and we remember our reason "why" we fight in their memory. While I was not alive when this happened, my dad was been deployed twice to fight the War on Terrorism. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it was categorized as the largest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. The hurricane was the cause of many lost lives, yet because of it, patriotism was shown in many different ways. Patriotism was shown through the care given by nurses, like my grandmother, and by civilian volunteers, like my mother. Each volunteer worked tirelessly caring for the injured or comforting the frightened, injured, and now homeless victims. People from all over the country came to the rescue by donating needed items and leading search parties to help those who were trapped. Many people lost everything that day and the days after, but many were saved, and families were kept together because of the people who showed their selflessness for others and for our country in a time of need.

Patriotism is shown through these different acts of courage. When our nation undergoes a tragedy, we demonstrate just how strong we are. We truly show that we one nation, under God.

By Bella: 1st Place Essay for VFW Post 11453, 2nd Place at Wyoming VFW District 5. Congratulations!





Patriotism, to me, is that you do something to support the country. Whether you are caring for the injured or sick, educating our country, joining the military, you are supporting the country.

Family is the most important part about patriotism. My family has a great deal of patriotism in it. A third of my family has served in the Air Force. Two thirds of my family are nurses, teachers, firefighters and EMTs. The nurses helped refugees from hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. It's not all about sacrifices though. I have moved away from friends and family to countries like Germany and Italy. I have also experienced many things like seeing the windmills of the Netherlands. My family has done an abundance of work for the country. My goal is to follow in their footsteps when I get older and to make a difference.

The Tri-State tornado was the most deadly and longest, distance and time wise, in the history of the United States and the second most deadly in the world. The most severely injured were transported by train to the nearest town, some going as far as Chicago. When the trains came back, they carried supplies and relief personal back to the destroyed towns. Once the relief teams were there, they set up makeshift hospitals in any building that was still standing and set up tents for the injured. People donated blood, food, came to help rebuild, and for the injured. The nation came together to help the people who had fallen victim to this tornado. The tornado ripped an ugly mark in our country, but the people came together to fix that mark that the tornado left.

Although the damage the tornado has done has been healed, there are still many other problems in this world that people like my family still need to solve. Patriotism means you give something up for the country, and my family has done more than their share.




Voice of Democracy speeches

You will likely need to press play after the player opens


Riddick   3rd Place speech for VFW Post 11453, Congratulations


Haley  2nd Place speech for VFW Post 11453, Well done

Luke 1st Place speech for VFW Post 11453 and 1st Place winner at Wyoming VFW District 5, Good luck competing at the Department of Wyoming and beyond!

Do you know of someone who would like to participate in these contests? The national level of the VFW usually announces the themes in mid August, and entries are normally due to the Post by the end of October.  Visit our website frequently.