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Winners announced in the annual Patriot’s Pen essay writing competition

The theme was “How Can I Be a Good American?”

Dispatch graphic stating news brief
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Winners were recently announced in the annual Patriot’s Pen essay writing competition at the Brainerd Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The theme was “How Can I Be a Good American?” Taking first place for $200 was Mimi Bueckers, Pine River, an eighth grader at St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School.

Second was Soren Benson, Pillager, eighth grader at the Lake Region Christian School for $150. Taking third was Annemarie Cady, Aitkin, an eighth grader at St. Francis for $100. Winners move on to district, state, and national competition with $55,000 scholarship money.

A presentation ceremony was at the Brainerd VFW.

Mimi’s first place essay is as follows:

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How Can I Be a Good American?

America was founded on the belief that all people are created equal and that each person has the right to freedoms. Some American ideals are democracy, liberty, opportunity, and equality. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," is engraved on the Statue of Liberty. Americans are compassionate, helpful, caring, and want good for all people. By using these American ideals of equality, serving others, and persistence, I can be a good American.

I can treat others with respect and with the knowledge that we are all created equally. I think that sometimes Americans forget that we are all equal, which is one of the biggest problems in our country today. Too many Americans treat others rudely just because they look different, have different color skin, believe in different things, or are from different backgrounds. I can be a good example for others by being respectful to everyone even if they are different. "E Pluribus Unum" is America's motto; it means "out of many, one.” The United States is a nation of immigrants, of different races, languages, religion, and traditions, but we still all come together united. I can be a good American by recognizing other people's differences but still seeing them as a person and as an American.

I can be a good American by serving others. Volunteerism is a big American value. Good Americans are always willing to help others without expecting to be paid. By volunteering and helping others freely, I can be a better American.

Americans have always had persistence and a good attitude when it comes to getting things done. I can be a good American by continuing this tradition in my own life. There are times when I am tired and feel I can't accomplish the task at hand, but if I put my mind and heart into it, I know I can do it. Americans have the ideal that anything is possible and that's a wonderful thought to have. I can accomplish things with persistence and perseverance.

Being a good American means having many good values. I can be a good American by using my values and treating others with respect and equality, by serving others in need, and by having persistence. America is a wonderful nation and I am happy to contribute to it by being a good American.

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