Andrew Meyers, 12, is the VFW Essay Contest winner for this year. The theme was patriotism. Andrew is in 7th grade and is homeschooled. Commander Don Mills made the presentation at the VFW meeting at the Marco Island Brewery. Andrew’s essay is below.
America’s Gift To My Generation
By Andrew Meyers
The older I get, I realize how fortunate I am to live in the United States of America. The ultimate gift I have received from this country is freedom . That gift was given to me because I was born in this beautiful country and not somewhere else. As the word “gift” implies, it was given to me at no cost. But again, I have learned it wasn’t a free gift. I recognize that many great men and women have fought for freedom for my generation and many to come. Many paid the ultimate price to defend and protect this great nation.
On July 4, 1776, the greatest country on Earth was formed, the United States of America. This country was founded because the forefathers fought for and won independence from oppressive British rule. The forefathers believed in having freedom as well as, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Americans have the gift of freedom, live in a republic, vote for their government, have religious freedom, free speech, and all the things we are blessed with from our United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Thinking back, is it any wonder people left their native countries centuries ago to come to America? Also, is it any wonder that today so many thousands of people want to immigrate to this amazing country? In today’s world, however, these people must be thoroughly vetted. They should also be required to assimilate, speak English, and be self-supporting.
America has fought in two world wars and many other wars to protect freedom. People throughout history have faced communism, fascism, tyrants, dictatorships, and fanatic religions (such as radical Islam and the Japanese Shinto in WWII). It is unfortunate that radical Islam, communism, and fanatic dictators in North Korea, Syria, etc. still exist.
I realize that as an American I have an obligation. I need to be ready to stand tall and do what is necessary to protect and defend our country from threats within and outside its territories, just as our ancestors and forefathers did. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” If called upon, I will be ready to serve this country to give the gift of freedom to many future generations. God bless America!