Brundidge Lions Club names winners of patriotism essay contest

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Brundidge Lions Club named their winners of a new project that had local students write essays about patriotism.

John Shipman, president of the Brundidge Lions Club said all sixth-grade students at Banks, Brundidge and Goshen were invited to participate in the competition and could approach patriotism from any angle in telling what patriotism means to them. The hope, he said, was that they would give much thought and study to the meaning of patriotism.

Samaya Privott of Pike County Elementary School, Ryder Brown of Banks and Rory Stagner of Goshen were named the three contest winners, each receiving $100.

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Privott had the opportunity to share her essay Monday morning with veterans and guests at the annual Veterans Day ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 70.

In her essay, Privott chose to focus on three specific characteristics of patriotism, including courage.

“You have to have courage in order to risk your life,” Privott read to the attendees. “… Firefighters, policemen and soldiers have the courage to put their lives on the line for their country because that’s how much they care for us.”

Privott said respect is an important way to show patriotism.

“You should be respectful to your flag and treat it as you would treat a human being,” Privott. “You also show respect to your veterans because they risked their lives for us and to keep our flag standing and they did things that they didn’t want to do or shouldn’t have to do. They work hard for us so we should return the favor by honoring them.”

Finally, Privott said love for country is a defining trait of patriotism.

“If you didn’t love your country, why would you be out there trying to fight for someone or something you didn’t love?” Privott said.

Brown said there are many different ways to show patriotism.

“Patriotism is showing vigorous strong support and love for one’s country,” Brown wrote. “Being patriotic can mean flying your country’s flag in your front yard or putting your life on the line for the country you live in. Even if your country is in rough shape or going through hard times, loving your country through it all is patriotic.”

Brown wrote that patriotism is ethical, cultural, political and historical.

“Ethic aspects have to do with the support of morals a country withholds,” Brown wrote. “This can mean the support of laws a country has or even the support of rules set in a court or school. A cultural aspect of patriotism has to do with the support of a country’s cultural background. This means knowing a country’s cultural background and respecting those people and the culture. The support of politics and the government a country has are considered political aspects. This does not necessarily mean you must like or support who is in office but support all government decisions and the work they put into making the country they work for better. The last aspect of patriotism that I stated is historical. Just knowing the history of your country is patriotic. This also does not mean that you are required to agree with every decision made in the past, but that you know how those decisions have affected the people in the present.”

Brown wrote that he shows patriotism by standing for the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, respecting the rules and shaking veterans’ hands. Other people an also show their patriotism through voting and showing honor and respect to other Americans.

Stagner explained what patriotism means to her.

“I believe that patriotism is very important, not jus to the USA but to all countries,” Stagner wrote. “I feel like everyone should be confident of the country they live in. And if they have any problems in their country, instead of running away from them, they should try to help fix the problem instead … Whatever country someone lives in, they should be proud. That’s what I believe.”

The essay competition was made possible by a donation from Jim Whaley Tires.