What does America mean to you?

The fifth grade students at Washington Elementary participated in a writing contest on Americanism sponsored by the Ely American Legion Post 248 Auxiliary.
The winners’ essays are listed below. Congratulations to these students for telling us a little bit about what America means to them.

by Wyatt Matson
What America means to me is to have rights, a chance to be yourself, do the job that we want, and travel to where we want to go. You do not have all of these things in different countries.
I have the right to go to school where I choose. I can also go to whatever church I want. I also have the right to say or write what I want others to know as long as it is not hurtful.
America is a democracy. We can vote for our leaders like the President. We live by the constitution that gives us the rights we have.
In America everyone is equal, you can be yourself. Race, religion, gender or age doesn’t matter. Having rights makes our country better than others. Because we have choices we are lucky to live in America. This is why I like America.

by Anya Moger
What does America mean to me? To me, America means gender equality, the right to be educated, and having things to meet our needs like food and fresh water. I couldn’t imagine living without any of these things.
My first thing is gender equality. I choose this one because I’m a girl and I play hockey. If I wasn’t allowed to play hockey or vote just because I am a girl, I would be really mad.
The second is the right to be educated. I would DISLIKE not going to school. At home, I have nothing to do. Without an education we can’t invent things or read or write.
My last thing is having things to meet our needs. I can’t imagine not having things, fresh water, or not knowing when my next meal is, or not having a bed to sleep in. I’m very thankful of all that I have.
In conclusion, I’m thankful for all these things. I probably could not be able to live without these things. What does America mean to you?

by Carena Debeltz
America has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people. America means a lot to me because I wouldn’t be able to have freedom of speech, equal rights, or freedom of religion. America means a lot to me.
Freedom of speech means we have the freedom to say what we want. I wouldn’t be able to give ideas if they weren’t wanted. There would be many people of many different ages in prison.
We all need equal rights. I wouldn’t be able to do sports. You probably wouldn’t be in the military. America lets us be able to be in whatever we want no matter what gender we are.
Another thing I need is freedom of religion because I wouldn’t be able to go to church on Sunday. Freedom of religion is one of the many reasons the pilgrims settled in America. So we all wouldn’t belong to one church.
That is what America means to me. You see there would be lots of things both girls or boys couldn’t do. America is a safe place to be. That is why I love America.