DEAR READERS: Today, Veterans Day, we celebrate the sacrifice and patriotism of our nation's military. Many gave their lives to guarantee our freedom. We owe our veterans and those men and women currently serving in the military a deep debt of gratitude. I salute you all, as do my readers.
In honor of Veterans Day, I'm reprinting an essay on patriotism that was written by the granddaughter of Phyl Erickson of Coon Rapids, Minn. The young lady, Jenna Guimaraes, was only 12 at the time, but she understood the importance of this aspect of our freedom.
by Jenna Guimaraes
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Every day my classmates and I recite this oath. By doing so, we promise to be true to our country, ourselves and our fellow Americans.
In school we study the history of our country, learning about those who lived long ago, who stood up for their beliefs, risked their lives, homes and safety to give promise to a better life to their descendants. Because of these people, our country is a great place to live.
Though we are younger than most countries, many look up to us for protection, leadership, support and friendship.
Patriotism can be shown in many ways, even by ordinary people. Mary Hays, otherwise known as Molly Pitcher, is one of them.
Molly Pitcher carried water to the soldiers during the Revolutionary War. When one of the soldiers fell from heat stroke, Molly shot the cannon for him. Molly loved her country so much that she risked her life in battle, even at a time when women didn't fight.
We don't have to risk our lives to show our patriotism, but I am grateful to those who did.