Josie Bigger, Sammamish High School First Place, Voice of Democracy
Josie Bigger, an 18 year old Senior at Sammamish High School, pictured at left, read her winning Voice of Democracy essay for the assembled membership. It appears below in its entirety.
Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?
The preamble to the Constitution states: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Written in 1787, this is the vision our fathers had for the newborn country. The great spirit which had inspired men and women to shake free the bonds of oppression and subjection to England rose again, this time to cast a new vision for the country, to propel it forward to become a nation indivisible, under God and unlike anything the world had ever seen.
America stands on the pillars of freedom and equality; the irrefutable truth that all men are created equal. While this was the vision the founding fathers wrote into the Constitution, the culture and atmosphere of the time prohibited this from becoming a reality. Despite obstacles and hardships, the flame of the American spirit has been carried by brave and diverse people throughout generations, and the truths written in the Constitution have become real, and America is now the most diverse, free and equal country in the world. However, some freedoms which the constitution defends, like speech and press are being threatened by a new wave of oppression. Media companies are inhibiting the propagation of real journalism and are consistently silencing voices opposing mainstream ideas. Politics have infiltrated everything from social media to the clothes you wear. The new age of workers and identity politics its not the the vision our fathers had. The intolerance of opposing ideas is not the vision our fathers had. The division, separation and hatred for America is not the vision our fathers had.
Despite our shortcomings and failure to fully realize our fathers’ vision, the great American spirit continues to live on and strive for what it was born to achieve: freedom, equality, prosperity, liberty private property, social mobility, checks and balances, the list goes on. This country is like no other, where you can come from any part of the world and find freedom and the ability to make a better life. America is a country which rewards hard work and perseverance and upholds human rights and freedoms unlike any other nation. This is the vision our fathers had and that we as Americans should strive to create and uphold for ourselves and the communities around us.
I am a proud possessor of that American spirit. The spirit which rests in the great American Dream, which promises all a better future and a brighter hope. I love America and I thank from the bottom of my heart every single individual at the VFW, those still serving and those who have given their lives for this great nation.
Marius Hill, Edmonds Heights, K-12, took 2nd place in Voice of Democracy
Marius is a senior at Edmonds Heights K-12 School, our Edmonds School District unit charged with support of home school students.
Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?
There are many people who think that the Founders of America would be disgusted, sad, disappointed, and/or don’t believe that this was how the country came to be. Other people say that they should be proud of how we still have a mostly stable government and that it kept the rules and laws made way back then. What my answer would be towards this question would be that they would have mixed feelings, because, we’ve become such a powerful country with a mostly stable democratic government, so the founders should be proud of that. But I think what they would be disappointed about is the fact, that back then, everyone had their own opinion but they would team up for the greater good of the government where as today people are real sticklers and really reject each other’s opinions.
How did money and taxes work back then compared to now? So back then, there was no federal tax, but every state had their own different types of tax. The tax back then was incredibly low, after working for about ten hours you would be able to pay off all of your taxes. But now taxes are so high, that the world’s richest man alive could only pay one-fifth of America’s total debt of about ten trillion dollars. So, in America, the money is a really big issue and a lot of people think that too, the money in general isn’t the problem, it’s the taxes.
Is the Bill of Rights still effective to this day? The Bill of Rights contains the first ten amendments, three of them are some of the most important: the right to bear arms, the freedom of speech, and religious freedom. These are very important to this day, but as of today people have abused and trampled over these three amendments because of one-another’s different opinions. What I want to say about the Bill of Rights is that it is extremely important to have these amendments.
What could we do to improve our countries government? What I think we should do to improve our country, is that we could lower the taxes as it is too high for American’s to pay and that it might solve problems with homelessness. What other people say we should improve in the country Is that the government should fix the education system because there are many students constantly being under pressure and/or in a lot of stress and that schools should include all different types of people such as black and white people. To solve the problem with stressed students, we should make it so learning would be more fun such as more hands-on activities.
What would the founders of America be proud of us for? I bet that they would be proud of the fact that we still have an exceptionally strong government and that we have become a beacon of freedom and that we are a very powerful country. Other people say that the founders would be proud of us because of our status in the world and how we stand against Communist countries such as China and Russia. Another thing the founders would be proud of us for would be the freeways and roads that we built to travel across the country, because traveling back then was really hard to do.
What would the founders of America be disappointed in us for? My reason why the founders of America would be disappointed in us would be because that we care so much about our own opinions that there are constant protesting’s and riots if they didn’t get their way, an example would be the disputes between democrats and republicans. Many other people say that we’ve become Socialistic, which means that we have a system of society or group living in which there is no private property. People now are constantly fighting over one another’s different opinions, the founders would be disgusted about this because during their time, the sperate groups would sometimes unite for the greater good of the country.
Our Government is constantly changing. There have been many up and downs such as laws that either go really well or were so bad that it didn’t even last a whole day. There have been good and bad presidents, some that think they’re doing something good for the country but it ends up not being so good, and/or sometimes messing up on accident. But what really matters is that our country still has a stable government and there will continually be bumps down the road.
Ashton Fairchild, Grade 6, Harbor Point Middle School 1st Place, Patriot’s Pen
What is Patriotism to Me?
Veterans have worked tirelessly to protect our country and rights. Without all the work they have done, we would not have the freedom we have today.
Patriotism to me means freedom to do what I like. Being able to shop at a grocery store with a large selection of foo is only because veterans once fought in was, defending our rights and freedom. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a president or equal rights. Adults can choose their job and not be forced to work without pay. Patriotism to me also means freedom of speech, so that I can say what I want. Veterans fought in war to provide us the freedom we have today. If war starts, they will defend no matter what for all the things we love. They fight for liberty and freedom, no matter what cost.
If veterans had let other countries win at war, we might be living somewhere else, with slavery and no clean water. If they didn’t fight around the clock tirelessly, none of this would exist. We could be living in slavery if it wasn’t for the people who fought against other countries to defend our freedom, rights and liberty. If they let their guard down, we would probably not be here right now. We have clean water, good housing and free food all because of them.
We only have these freedoms because of veterans who fought until they felt like they couldn’t, but still carried on, even in the darkest of times. when nobody else was there to fight, veterans always came. When they thought that they couldn’t win they persevered. They sometimes didn’t sleep for days, making sure no war could take away our justice. They fought for days to protect our people. They would save America at all costs, even if it felt like it would be nearly impossible. Veterans have worked tirelessly to protect our country and we should honor and appreciate them. There is no way to put into words how much effort they put into defending our country and rights.
Avery Fairchild, Picnic Point Elementary School, 1st Place Youth Essay
Why Veterans Should be Honored
If you have ever read the newspaper or watched the news, you have probably heard of the election. Do you know why we have an election or how we get to vote in our country unlike countries with kings and queens.? Well it is all because of veterans. They fought for our right to vote. They fought for all kinds of things. When things weren’t right or were unjust, veterans tried to defend the people and bring in new laws. So Many people in the Army, Navy, Air force, Marines and Coast Guard fight for justice, we will be grateful of what they do for us. Would you wan tho do what they do? It’s not easy work. They risked heir lives for many things and this is a few: Freedom of speech, voting, freedom to do what you want. Like have a job you actually like and go anywhere you like. But, they sacrificed a lot for those things. They had to fight in a war for years and be away from home in a foreign land you’ve never been to. Like the Vietnam war, across the world from where I live. They had to go where they’ve never been, also a place where people wanted to kill them. It wasn’t an incredible trip either. I’m not even talking about the war – I’m talking about the food and a place to stay. they had MREs (meals ready to eat ) and built their own tents to stay at. So it wasn’t so luxurious, but it helped our country greatly and look at us now. We’re a free country. So, since this is the end of the paper, this is the last thing I have to say:
THANK YOU VETERANS!