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Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4591 Commander Elmer F. Winterfeld announced the winners of the "Patriots Pen" contest. Fifty-one middle school (sixth, seventh and eighth grade) students participated.
The winners are: Tiffany J. Amariuta, first place, Thomas J. Halter, second place, Kyle Gugliotta, third place and Brittany A. Biroc, fourth place.
Ms. Amariutas entry also won the District #2 contest and therefore was entered into the VFW Department of NJ competition. ###
Who Are Today's Patriots?
I used to think of patriotism as an abstract concept or as a quality of a precious few. Then I turned seven...
I began to realize that one doesnt have to perform extreme acts of patriotic bravery, or die in battle to be a patriot. Clearly, those who rise to that level of patriotism deserve our gratitude forever. Without our brave soldiers and courageous leaders, we would not be the great country that we are today. Without those that guard us and protect us at home and abroad, I would not get up every morning knowing that I am safe and free.
As I grow up, my eyes are opening to the fact that patriotism is the glue that ties us all together in strong, vibrant communities and in a mighty American nation. Left and right, we are surrounded by patriots. They touch our lives, even shape our lives, but for the most part they tend to remain anonymous. They are the dedicated parent, the inspiring teacher, the courageous fireman, the soldier, the often forgotten veteran, the nurse, the selfless volunteer, and many more: each member of our American family, each contributing their best to make it stronger, each a patriot.
I think loving my country is like loving my home. Yes, I brag about it; yes, I feel proud about it, but I will not stop there. If the roof leaks, Ill replace it. If the plumbing doesnt work, Ill fix it. And if anyone tries to sell me on the idea that somehow trash, even in clever disguises, is acceptable in my home, I will certainly give them a piece of my mind. As members of one family, we love each other and come to each others help. And if anything or anyone really tries to hurt us, we band together, tighter than peas in a pod and stronger than steel. Why? Because we are one family.
And what a family! We hardly look the same, eat the same, and even speak the same. But, in a multifaceted diamond, the myriad of points of light is precisely what accounts for its unique brilliance. It is up to us, the millions of often unknown and unsung patriots, to keep our diamond hardest on Earth and shining. It is up to us to show the world that indeed a diamond is forever. ###