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Congratulations to Oliver Fougere!

Oliver won 2nd place in the district in the local VFW's Patriots Pen essay writing contest. Oliver wrote on the theme "The America I Believe In." His amazing insight and knowledge was incredible for a sixth grade student. Job well done, Oliver!

America should be believed in! But what do I mean by “believed”? Why should this beautiful country be believed in? And what does believing in my country mean for me as ten-year-old?

Well, to believe in your country means to love your country and people to the utmost because they are yours. This is patriotism. Take Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the courageous German leaders in Operation Valkyrie. A true patriot, Stauffenberg sensed the danger the Nazi government was putting his homeland in and tried to stop it. Unfortunately, Operation Valkyrie failed. Stauffenberg's last words, before he was shot on July 21, 1944, were, “Long live my holy Germany!” “Believing” in one's country, then, is being a patriot: loving your land, not necessarily the government.

Now, if any good patriot should love and believe in his fatherland even if its government is bad, we should especially love the United States because here we have the freedom to choose good peacefully. Think about England. The queen can veto laws, but if the people want a law, the queen's word is final. To stop her, there would be no choice except to overthrow her or to rebel. Both would most likely mean unnecessary bloodshed. This isn't so in the USA. When the president vetoes something that people like, instead of revolting, people go to Congress with a winning argument telling why the bill should be accepted, and hopefully, Congress will override his decision. This is one reason why we should all believe in this land of opportunity.

I believe that I am a patriot, but I am aware that I am a child. How can a ten-year-old help his country? Terminating racism, abortion, and our $16 trillion debt are things I cannot do. But what can I do? What any good citizen does: my duty. I can turn off the lights to save electricity. I can clean up litter. Most importantly, I can study hard in school because stupidity doesn't help anything.

Yes, America deserves believing in. I believe in it and will do what I can to help the USA. For as Robert E. Lee said, “You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more; you should never wish to do less.”

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