Voice of Democracy

Editor’s Note: What follows was written by the 15-year-old-niece of a Sun City resi-dent. In keeping with Memorial Day, we thought this would be an apt message and proof that, since it was penned by a young woman, our beliefs continue to hold strong through the genera-tions. It’s also a simple yet important reminder of the history of our freedom and what it means to be ‘free.’

“My Responsibility to America”, as Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” America is a great country and citizens cannot rely on others to take the role of responsibility on for them. I believe that my responsibilities to America include understanding the past — how America became a great country, the meaning of the American flag, and what it means to respect the people who fought for this wonderful country.

Understanding the history of America is one of my responsibilities because I should know what the people living in this country had to go through to make it what it is today for me. The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Vietnam War are only some of the many events in history that make America what it is today. The Revolutionary War installed our Declaration of Independence. The result of the Civil War created new amendments that dealt with the scourge of slavery. The result of the Vietnam War was that Congress fixed the complications of foreign policy. Without these three events life for me today would most likely be very different. The history of America affects me and it is my responsibility to understand where we came from.

Another one of my responsibilities is understanding the meaning of the flag, and with this understanding comes respect. Many people don’t know what the colors or the stars and stripes of the flag represent. I believe that as an American citizen it is my duty to know what these colors and symbols mean. The red represents bravery, the white represents innocence, and the blue represents justice. The stars represent the fifty states in America and the stripes represent the thirteen original colonies. For me personally, when I see the flag, it reminds me of all the men and women who fought for our country and it is an honor to stand and respect it. Today some people are forgetting how important it is to show respect for the flag and are using it as a target to voice their objections to the unjust behavior of some.

But I believe that if you live in America then it is your responsibility to stand and honor the flag because you are benefiting from all the liberties America has to offer. You won’t be able to find many other countries like America that has so many freedoms. The only way to get and keep these freedoms is to fight for them, which leads to my final responsibility: respecting our veterans and the men and women who continue to fight for our freedoms. I think that this is my most important responsibility because I owe the existence and preservation of freedoms to these veterans. Without these men and women I might not have all the freedoms I have today. I might not be able to get an education, I might not be able to vote in the future, or even get a job. I am able to live the way I am living today because of the selfless veterans who were willing to volunteer their time and put themselves in harm’s way for America. The only way to get these freedoms are to fight for them, and that is exactly what these people did and continue to do. During the Revolutionary War, men fought for their independence. During the Civil War, men fought for equality. And during the Vietnam War, men fought to stop the spread of communism. Veterans deserve my respect and the respect from all American citizens. I can conclude that my responsibilities to America are understanding America’s history, knowing what the American flag represents, and respecting the men and women who have served and continue to serve this country. America is the greatest country in the world, but there are many responsibilities that come with greatness.

Kaitlyn Owen, Johnsburg High School
Niece of Diane Naples

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