AT THE SCHOOLS

Blessed Sacrament student wins statewide essay contest; will compete at national level

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The essay:

When Is The Right Time To Honor Our Military Heroes?

I, as a patriotic American, frequently think that we, as a nation, do not honor our military heroes nearly as often as we should. Every day, the media updates us about what is happening in the lives of various celebrities, but I have no idea what battles were fought and what lives were lost in Iraq today, let alone over this past year.

There are set days when it is an obligation to remember our veterans, our military heroes from the past, but what do we even do on those days? Set a flag at half-mast? Say a few extra words for those who have passed during a dinner prayer? The time to honor America’s heroes and veterans should not be constrained to a single day.

The time to honor these brave American men and women is now. It is now, it was yesterday, and it will be tomorrow.

We should live in a constant state of reverence and respect for all our men and women in uniform – in uniforms from the past and uniforms from the present. I wish everyone who reads this essay would spend at least 10 minutes thinking about how much our military has done not only for the country, but for you alone.

Soldiers died for you. Soldiers protect you.

They do this every day. We should honor them every day. Something happens in Iraq and other parts of the world every day, not every three or four months, and certainly not once a year.

To those who go the extra mile to do something for our soldiers and veterans, like sending a thank-you letter to show special respect for them, thank you. And to all of those who really do take some time out of the day to remember what our military heroes have done and to honor them, thank you.

We must never forget what John Fitzgerald Kennedy said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” The time to live out our appreciation by honoring our military heroes is now. The time to afford military heroes the best in benefits is now. The time to learn about the military heroes in our community is now. The time to honor military heroes is, always has been and always will be, now.

By Amelia Henkel

Age: 13

Blessed Sacrament School

Grade 8