This week, we have chosen to use our editorial space to publish Veterans Day essays by three Cassville High School students. These essays were selected as the best among Cassville High School composition students. The authors received the opportunity to read their works during the R-IV School District's Veterans Day assembly that was held at Cassville High School on Nov. 11.
By Mathew Angel
"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." These words from Jose Narosky illustrate the sacrifices our veterans make for the sake of our freedom. They fight not only for their country as a whole, but for each and every one of us. Our veterans need to be recognized for the perilous duty they have served. They deserve our utmost respect and gratitude, so on this day we venerate these men and women who have so valiantly defended what is right.
As Americans today, we take our liberties for granted without taking time to think back to the source of our freedom. We need to keep in mind that many around the world would die to have what we have because what we have is rare. The reason behind our exceptional way of life is the men and women sitting before us today. Well knowing they might not return, our veterans left all that they knew to serve our country in its time of need. Despite the hardships they have encountered, their courageous efforts have paid off. The freedoms held by our citizens have remained intact throughout the years because of our veterans. We need to remember them every chance we have and thank them for all they have done for us. Without their efforts, the marvelous lifestyle we all cherish would exist only in dreams.
In the words of Edmund Burke," The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Our veterans ensured that evil did not triumph. These good men and women of our country laid it all on the line for what they believed in. Thanks to them, we can all sleep soundly at night with our freedom secured.
By Justin Mills
John Locke once said that human rights can be defined as "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We live in a country where all of these aspects of life can be attained. The United States of America is defined by freedom. As citizens of this great land, we can speak freely without any worry of penalty. We can worship in any way we choose. We are guaranteed the right to vote for the officials who serve us. Human beings desire these natural rights. Every individual should be allowed all of these freedoms.
Yet, freedoms are not given to everyone across the globe. Countries in poverty or those with poorly run governments will have citizens who possess very few rights. In our great nation, however, these ideals have proven to be true. Freedom is earned. The tremendous efforts of veterans for America's past and current wars provide our country with the rights that some may consider entitled to them. The loyal and generous people known as veterans have achieved freedom through great sacrifice. Dating from the early wars of independence to the present day conflict, veterans continue to be freedom fighters. Every person who has served or is serving has contributed to the very liberty enjoyed by all.
As a country divided on so many issues, nothing is certain. Conversely, the devotion and contributions of all those protecting this nation will always remain certain. Throughout the test of time, pure dedication to these rights has held intact. We must give thanks and encouragement to the soldiers who have strengthened our country over the years. Without them, our great country might not enjoy the rights that several countries lack. As President Abraham Lincoln said, "Freedom is the last, best hope on earth."
By Katelyn Brisco
Our flag is a symbol of hope: a beacon of light in the darkness of trouble. "Old Glory" shows us what we, the people, have overcome during the years. We do not know all that goes into the preservation of our country, yet we know that our veterans are the reason why we can sleep in peace at night without the terror of falling bombs or shots being fired in our streets. Our flag can fly high because of our veterans. And a grand old flag it is.
"You're a grand old flag, you're a high-flying flag, and forever in peace may you wave. . ." To protect that peace, we must risk ourselves for it. That means having our mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, sons and brothers serving their country to their best ability. Many have died doing just this; but this day is for those who are living. These are the honored survivors and achievers who help today's generation get along with the rest of the world. Their goal is obvious, but today's generation does not get it. The preservation of Old Glory, the symbol of our country, is their goal.
". . . You're the emblem of the land I love: the home of the free and the brave. . ." America. This is all thanks to our veterans. Our flag stands for our country and all that we have done for it. The 50 stars for our 50 states; 13 stripes for our 13 colonies are represented on the flag. There is even a history as to how our flag was designed and who designed it. Everything in this land has a story about it.
". . . Every heart beats true under red, white and blue. . ." Our flag has three colors: red, white and blue. The red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and women. Its white stripes stand for liberty and justice for all. The blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty and faith. Our flag is as old as our nation, no matter what form it has taken. It represents these eternal principles: liberty, justice and loyalty. It also embodies our ideals of American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, the press and the sanctity of the home. Our flag has a name: Old Glory. In the defending of Old Glory, we can sleep in peace at night, knowing that there are people who are willing to protect us.
". . . And there's never a boast or brag. May auld acquaintance be forgot, keep your eyes on the grand old flag!" Today we see these men and women as our protectors, our defenders, our friends. On this day, we thank you for keeping Old Glory flying peacefully in the breeze.