Student essay contest winners recognized
Submitted by Patty Locher,
Youth Programs Chairwoman
Sabetha VFW Memorial Post 7285
On Wednesday evening, Jan. 12, at Sabetha VFW Memorial Post 7285’s new Veterans Center, Post members honored the two post-level winners of the annual high school level Voice of Democracy (VOD) audio essay contest, and the top three post-level winners of the annual middle school level Patriot’s Pen essay contest.
The 2021-22 topic for VOD was “Where Do We Go From Here?” The first-place winner is Jonathan Knapp, an 11th grade student at Aletheia Academy, and second-place winner is Haven Knapp, a ninth grade student at Aletheia Academy.
Post 7285 Commander Marcus Gonzalez was recently notified that Jonathan Knapp also placed first at First District, making him eligible for the state-level (VFW Department of Kansas) competition.
The Department of Kansas awards banquet was held Saturday evening, Jan. 15, where the Department announced the top three winners, which did not include Knapp.
The 2021-22 topic for Patriot’s Pen was “How Can I Be a Good American?” All entries received were from Sabetha Middle School students. First-place winner is Isabelle Scoby, second-place winner is William Voos and third-place winner is Jyllian Stapleton. All three are eighth-grade students.
Other SMS students who took the challenge to write an essay are eighth-grade students Olivia Baumgartner, Catherine Davis, Chloe Detweiler, Finley Hann, Kiera Keim, Alivia Lang, Charlie Lukert and Krysta Menold; seventh-grade students Ian Deters, Lincoln Menold, Logan Ploeger, Isaac Schmid, Nathan Smith, Colby Stoller, Gavin Wedel and Kirt Wertenberger; and sixth-grade students Daniel Garber, Sophie Leman and Noah Menold.
The VOD and Patriot’s Pen contests are offered annually in the fall, with a different patriotic topic each year. Writing a good essay for these topics requires much thought and research and is a challenging task.
VOD audio essays are judged on originality, 30 points; content, 35 points; and delivery, 35 points. The audio essay must meet a minimum and maximum time length.
Patriot’s Pen essays are judged on knowledge of the theme, 30 points; theme development, 35 points; and clarity of ideas, 35 points. There is a minimum and maximum number of words.
Sabetha VFW Memorial Post 7285 members are proud of those students who made the effort to accept the challenge and write a thought-provoking essay.
Voice of Democracy
America: Where Do We Go From Here?
By Jonathan Knapp
There were once a handful of travelers that were walking down a lonely path. The first two were Justice and Liberty and a third, whose name I will not yet mention, was following behind them. This unspoken traveler was fleeing persecution, injustice, overly strong governments, and terrible laws. She followed Justice and Liberty because wherever they went there was always a peaceful and quiet life to live. However, when they came to a fork in the road, Justice and Liberty took the narrow straight path to the right but the traveler chose the wide road to the left that gradually led the traveler farther and farther away from the ones that she had been following. This lone traveler was soon lost and far out of sight of her old companions and seemingly oblivious of the fate that lay ahead and the need to turn back, take the other road and find the companions that she had left. This traveler is America. America is not just a place or a massive country, it is an economy, a freedom, a luxury and most of all a people. We the People are responsible for this country and we must be the ones to turn around in our tracks, go back and take the right fork. Considering this, how do we turn around? Where do we go from here?
First and foremost, we must actively resist tyranny, unconstitutional mandates and laws and illegal elections. We must do this through our votes, articles, letters to the editor, freedom alliance rallies, contacting our representatives about what we think of bills or even amendments that come up and the list goes on. More importantly than all this, we must speak up. The spoken word is a powerful thing and the left uses it constantly to manipulate control and to pressure you into being silent and submissive. We have to speak up because a silent voice is never heard. Much like our neighbors that are still inside their mother’s womb who are ripped apart every day without even an audible cry, so will our freedoms be destroyed, our rights abolished and our already timid voices silenced forever. Unlike our neighbors in the womb, we have the ability to speak and we must do so to defend these rights and liberties that God has blessed us with. We have the responsibility also to speak and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves, the elderly, the disabled, and not ever to be forgotten, are our tiny neighbors in the womb who cannot utter a sound and whose death cry is never heard. We must let the truth be known, we must support Biblical justice openly. Because believing it in private doesn’t help our country. Along the same line of thought, this is The Best place to be on the globe. There aren’t any more new lands across the sea where we can go and start all over again if this country sinks. The battle is here and the battle is now. We must resist tyranny while we have the ability to or even the ability to resist will be stolen away. A man by the name of Martin Niemoller said the following about the Holocaust: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.” We cannot copy this terrible mistake. Our articles can be ignored, our letters to the editor can be ignored and as we saw in this past election, even our votes can be nullified and our elections stolen. But the spoken word that is used openly is not near as easily ignored and can be used to a powerful effect.
To address any problem, you have to attack it at the roots. Our problems are like many leaves on a weed and they all source to the root problem which is sin. As a nation, we must repent of our sins and turn from our ways to do what is right.
How can we expect anything to go right in this nation when we have a holocaust going on right now and we aren’t doing anything about it?
We have to stand up and say, “No More” and enforce it as the people, because our government is not.
How Can I Be A Good American?
By Isabelle Scoby
A simple way to be a good American is to abide by what our founding fathers laid before us.
First of all, honor the Declaration of Independence, which is the greatest document ever written, except for the Bible. The Declaration of Independence was created through Divine Intervention. The founders wrote and signed the document with the future of our country in mind. The patriots that signed the Declaration, put their lives, their honor, their money, and their families in danger. The British empire wanted to kill them for signing their names on the Declaration of Independence. Most people don’t know that the 4th of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration.
Secondly, uphold the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A government of “We the People” was unusual in contrast to other countries and governments. Remember and follow the first Amendment, which gives us the freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and the ability to petition for grievances. Recognize the second Amendment, which gives the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The constitution makes it clear that this right “shall not be infringed.” Some people say the second amendment is there if the first amendment is prohibited.
Next, exercise your right to vote. Free and fair elections are a critical part of our constitutional republic. Those you vote for on a local, state, and national level represent you and me “We The People”. Know who you are voting for and why you chose them. Attend local school board meetings, city and county meetings, and strive to make your voice heard to those that represent you on the state and national level.
Doing some of, or better yet, all of these things will definitely make you a good American. God Bless the USA and those that fought and died for our freedom.