Photos by Chad Koenen
Presenters from the Patriots Pen presentation during this years salute during the Veterans Day activities in the NYM school auditorium.

Bergen Roder

Patriot’s Pen

“For to be free is not merely to cast off, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others’- a quote from Nelson Mandela. We all should respect people’s ways. Great Americans think all are equal, treat everyone with the same amount of fairness, and see that everyone has an independence that can be expressed in different ways.

Freedom is important for everyone. To be a great American means having justice, which is moral rightness based on your family’s religion, you could say. It also means that everyone has the same amount of fairness. The American Revolutionary War was the main war that people/soldiers fought in for our freedom. This is why everyone should honor those who fought for us. The final reason that freedom is important to me is that we have freedom but some of us don’t realize that others do too. Everyone has freedom and some of us embrace it in different ways, which is why we have to respect everyone’s freedom equally.

Independence is something special. We all have it but some of us don’t realize it. Following great leads is a great act of independence. This means that we should follow some of the ways of great leaders. Following laws is another great act of independence. It helps everyone in different ways. But it helps us most by being safe in many ways. Last but not least, everyone has the same rights but some people don’t act like that. Some people think that black and white people are different, but the only difference is their skin color. Everyone has the same rights, but some people express these rights in different ways.

Equality is one of the most important things in being an American. Everyone is the same and should be treated the same. No matter the color of your skin, everyone is equal in the same way. Everyone can do whatever they want with their life because everyone has the same rights. I think that people should not be treated differently because of the color of their skin, but that everyone should be treated equally.

In conclusion, everyone is equal in their own ways. Americans are filled with love, but sometimes they are mad so they press their opinions on other people. Overall everyone is great and equal in their own and awesome ways!

Teran Scheidecker

Patriot’s Pen

“I don’t believe in the Constitution because I’m American. I’m American because I believe in the Constitution.” Says J.S.B. Morse. Why are Americans so proud of their country? Can you imagine life without having freedom of speech and the right to bear arms? That’s why you should respect the military, the American flag, and lastly be nice to others.

You can be a good American by supporting the military. You may wonder “How can I support the military?” First of all, don’t disrespect them by saying things like, “Their job isn’t even hard.” Instead, say things more like, “It must be a really hard job working for the military.” Make sure that when you say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem that you stand up. Also, respect that people died trying to give you freedom of speech and the right to bear firearms.

The second thing you could do to be a good American is to respect the flag. Don’t let the flag touch the ground because it’s disrespectful. Make sure to put your hand on your heart when you say the Pledge of Allegiance to show that you really mean it. Show love for the military for all that they’ve done for you. You should always take your hat off to say the Pledge of Allegiance. It is disrespectful to wear a hat when you’re in a room with a flag in it.

Another way that you could be a good American is by being nice to others. You could do this by helping people out when they need it. Protect our country by picking up the ditches and not littering. So we can keep it clean. Don’t judge other people by how they look or how they act. You don’t know their background story.

As you can probably see, you should respect the military, respect the flag, and don’t forget to be nice to others. In America, you should be nice and respect the things that stand for our country. I want America to be a great place that welcomes people when they come here!

Reegan Long

Patriot’s Pen

I can be a good American by respecting the law, respecting the flag, and respecting other people’s political beliefs. We are so fortunate to have freedom of speech. We also have so many people that serve that some people don’t even care about. Truly, if you want to be a good American you should respect and care and love the people who serve. It’s a real blessing to have them!

To be a good American, you should respect the law, always be polite to police and follow the laws. The world would be so much better if no one put anyone in danger.

Another way to be a good American is by respecting the flag. It’s so important because it sets a good example to our country and veterans. And you can respect the flag by taking off your hat when we say the Pledge of Allegiance. Also you can salute the ones who fought in the wars, and you can stand up when we sing the National Anthem.

You can also be a good American by respecting other people’s political beliefs. When you are voting, you aren’t telling other people your political beliefs, you are keeping it to yourself. It’s a part of your duty as an American to vote and it is optional to vote but the President wants you to.

As you can see you can be a great American by respecting the law because it helps keep people safe. Also respecting the flag is another great way to show that you are a good American. You should respect other political beliefs by not telling people your beliefs and not judging them by their political beliefs. We are so fortunate to have a choice about how we go to church. This is how you can become a good American!

Lilja Pakkala

Patriot’s Pen

Imagine this, you’re on your couch, watching a show, unaware of the effect you have had, or could have on America. I have a few examples of how you can affect America in a good way, and be a better American. Standing up for your rights, being kind to other Americans, and obeying the law are ways to be a good American.

First, I can stand up for my rights. If I don’t, the people in power will walk over me, making America communist. Also, the generation that stops standing up for our rights, stops standing up for America. Our rights were made for a reason, to protect us. I’m not going to let anyone deprive me of them. The second we get them taken away, America’s freedom is in danger. We won’t be the Land or the Free. I love my America. I want it to stay free.

Second, I can be kind to other Americans. When you are kind to someone, they’ll have a better day. Being kind will also bring you happiness. If nobody was ever kind, the world would not be safe. Not everyone in America is kind, but I think that everyone should at least try. Everyone plays a part in the world. I think that all the roles should have something to do with being kind or helping people.

Finally, I can obey the law. Laws were made to keep peace and keep us safe. If you don’t obey the law you could be punished. When someone disobeys the law, it could immediately put someone in danger. Some people don’t obey the law. They don’t care if they are hurting others, or if they are making other people’s lives difficult and miserable. America will never be perfect but it would be amazing if it were. If nobody ever broke the law, hurt anyone, if everyone could be happy! Unfortunately, nobody is perfect and there will always be those people in the world. But what we can do to keep ourselves and America safe is obey the law and the police officers who keep us safe.

To conclude, if I stand up for my rights, obey the law and be kind to other Americans, I can be a better American and you can too. If everyone did what they wanted, America would not be a good place. The Land of The Free would surely crumble.

Chloe Costin

Patriot’s Pen

In the word American, the last three letters spell out CAN. It means that we CAN overcome all that is going on right now, we CAN conquer any mountain the we face, if we all work together as one. One strong and powerful country, we can do it. Our country is known as The Land of Opportunity, so keep it that way, because there are many great places and many more great people living in this amazing country.

What I think it means to be a good American is that you should respect the flag and speak respectfully to veterans and people who are or have fought for our country’s freedom and also to celebrate the holidays that are days that mark our freedom and our great country. Holidays like the 4th of July mark dates that our country fought wars and won our freedom. It’s important for us Americans to celebrate these dates because these are the days that mark our freedom.

Another way to be a good American is to celebrate our differences. We Americans come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, religions, races and speak many languages. If all 329.5 million of us that live in the U.S. looked the same, sounded the same, dressed the same and liked the same things then the world would be plain and boring. That is the reason that God created each and every one of us differently. We need to embrace the differences in the people that not only live in our nation but make up our nation and realize that we may not always have the same opinion about things.

Finally, the last way that I think that we can be great Americans is, by being involved in our communities and always trying to make our country a better place. An example of this would be to plant trees or pick up garbage, also you could do some volunteering and help out with events that are happening in your community.

In conclusion I think that our nation is an amazing place but I also think that there is also a little room for improvement, always.

I am proud to be an American.

Isaac Geiser

Patriot’s Pen

What does it mean to be a good American? Being and American is easy, being a good one is not. There are many ways to interpret what it means to be a good American. I could sum it up in one word: freedom.

To me freedom has many meanings, one meaning is freedom of choice. This means that you get to choose what is best for you and your nation, it is not forced upon you. Part of being a good American is making sure that we live in a morally sound country. Making your own religious choices and respecting those choices of others is one way that we can improve American ethics and morals. Generations before me have sacrificed and fought so that I would have this freedom of choice.

What does freedom of speech have to do with being a good American? Freedom of speech is more than just having the right to say whatever you want. it includes the freedom to feely talk about your own opinions about America and our government. This free speech is not a given in many places in the world. It is our duty as a good American to use this freedom to better our nation. So exercise that right and speak up!

There are many times where it is difficult to be a good American and there were many sacrifices made so that I could have the chance to be one. However, if we use the freedoms that we were given, every American can be a great one!

Audrey Weller

Patriot’s Pen

The question is: How can I be a good American? Google says “being able to speak your mind.” I think that might be part of it, but there is way much more than that. Read this essay and you will find out how I think you can be a good American. Why did I choose these things? Lets find out.

I think we could be a good American by doing good things for other people. Doing good things for other people could consist of simply opening the door for somebody, helping someone with their outside work, or carrying someone’s groceries in for them. All these things are so important and simple that sometimes we are just in our little bubble, and we forget about them. It is bad that we forget about these simple things because our world would be better if we remembered these things.

Another thing about how we can be a good American is understanding and listening about how everyone has different opinions. They might be different from ours, but we need to still listen, think and understand from their perspective. We might even change our mind when we hear others’ perspectives. I have experienced when y sibling, and my cousin have fought, and I hear both sides of the argument. I talk to both of them later, and I tell them the other side of the story, then they resolve it.

We also can be a good American by understanding our history. We can do this by reading our history books. Understanding the people’s point of view from that time period might change our perspectives and decisions for our future. I’ve had history classes and that has helped me understand how people thought back then, and has shown me that history is important because it has changed our world and environment.

All these things about how we can be good Americans are so important that we forget about them. If we are kind and respectful to others they will be back to us. When we understand and listen to other people we can change our thinking , and we might even change theirs. When we are understanding our history we learn more about how people were back then and how people are now. You have now learned how I think we can be good Americans.