The Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen program which recognizes young people for their essays on what democracy means to them is a wonderful program that aims at the highest ideals of what it means to be an American. Locally the program is sponsored by VFW Post 3388 and its auxiliary.
Receiving first place in the Voice of Democracy essay contest Wednesday night at the Post 3388 Trophy Room was Evan Hanson with Allie Sievert receiving second. Mattie Condon won the Patriot's Pen essay contest with Joseph Sexe placing second and Treyton Jacobson third. Judy Johnson, VFW Auxiliary president, presented the awards.
What's so great about this program is that it instills in youth the knowledge that democracy and patriotism are not abstract words. They are based on ordinary people doing extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances.
Since our nation's founding, patriotism has been at the very core of what makes us Americans. Whenever the call to duty came, volunteers answered. They fought both on and off American soil. Sometimes the odds seemed insurmountable, but Americans always came through.
Today, we're in a very different world with very different military engagements. It used to be that we could point to clear delineations of East and West. Now, we can't always be sure about which enemy we are fighting.
That makes our dedication to our ideals more important than ever. As long as we continue to believe in the right of people to choose their own destiny, we will be on the right path.
In Afghanistan, we're fighting to give the people the right of self-determination. We're fighting to give girls the right to go to school, become educated and control their own destiny. And we're fighting to tear away the shades of darkness and bring the light of freedom to their nation.
Not everyone may agree with our mission there. The important thing, though, is that our hearts are in the right place. With that ideal, we can rest assured that truth will prevail over falsehood, that hope will conquer fear and that another free nation will soon be able to contribute to the world community.