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To qualify that more accurately, it should be said by a small percentage of the adult population.
For the younger generation—those of school age –– Veterans Day was celebrated appropriately in all of the Ava schools, with all the students attending assemblies that brought honor to our veterans and helped the students understand more fully what Veterans Day is all about.
The adult population had an opportunity to gather in the Ava Cemetery at 11 a.m. for time set aside to honor our veterans in a program conducted jointly by the American Legion and the VFW. That program, by far, had the smallest attendance of the three that were held.
Along with the Veterans Day observances comes the conclusion of essay contests sponsored by the VFW.
Junior high students at Ava Victory Academy and Ava Middle School participate in the Patriot’s Pen essay contest and high school students participate in the Voice of Democracy.
The two are similar, except Patriot’s Pen is an essay only, while those participating in the Voice of Democracy not only prepare a written essay, but they also “speak” their essay and submit a recorded copy for the judging.
The topic this year for the Patriot’s Pen essay was “Does Patriotism Still Matter?” For the high school students, the topic for the Voice of Democracy was, “Does My Generation Have a Role In America’s Future?”
Five winners were named in each category and those winning essays will be published in the Herald as space permits.
In preparing these essays for publication, I had the opportunity to read each one, and I hope you will make it a point to read them, too, as they are published.
One writer said today’s youth are just viewed as “silly kids” looking for ways to get in trouble, but more than one writer points out that the adults running the country right now aren’t doing such a great job, either.
These “kids” have a better grasp than we give them credit for. They understand the importance of education, technology, the willingness to change, and the importance of learning from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.
Even at the middle school level, the students are clear on the cost of our country’s freedom and they understand that the freedom we now hold is not guaranteed forever.
These students understand that we are blessed to live in a nation that affords us many freedoms, but they also understand that these freedoms can be taken away if we don’t hold firm to the standards and principles upon which our nation was founded.
Consider this statement by Becky Luman: “Unless an absolute standard condemns a behavior or attitude, anything may become acceptable if it is done by a powerful person or by most people in a society.”
The statement was written as a warning to Christians to stand firm in their convictions. But it could just as adequately be proclaimed to our legislators and governing officials. While change is inevitable – and necessary – as acknowledged by the teens who wrote their VFW essays, there are also standards that must be upheld. Thankfully, many of the students understand that, as well.