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Kid's Review
Winning One for Old Glory
June, 2005 - Issue #8
Helmers Elementary School

"This is the place, oh my gosh, I'm so nervous. I hope I don't have to read it aloud; there are so many people here. I wonder what place I got. What's for dinner? I hope it's spaghetti."

These thoughts whizzed through my head as I entered the Elks Lodge. I had received a letter a couple months before stating that I was one of the winners who had written an essay about the American flag, a.k.a. Old Glory. As it turns out, there were only three 6th grade winners.

When everyone finally finished their dinner, which was spaghetti, essay winners and runner-ups were called to the stage by grade level. To my extreme disappointment, the first place winners were required to read their stories in front of what felt like a million people watching.

When the 6th grade runner-ups were called and my name wasn't among them, I knew what was going to happen. I walked up there, concentrating on my heeled shoes and the two treacherous stairs up ahead. I started to read.

"What is the photographer doing? He's standing up and then ducking with his camera like popcorn in the microwave. Is he taking pictures of my shoes? I wonder if he got any of my face?"

I'm sure you wouldn't want to read my actual story, but here it is anyway:

Old Glory is a symbol of the United States of America. It stands for liberty and equal rights. It's proof that we are a strong country that has overcome many challenges. I think the flag makes us superior. It's the glue that keeps our states untied.

Everything we see on the flag has a meaning. Red stands for valor and hardiness. White shows purity and innocence. The deep blue is a symbol of our vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Our 50 shining stars stand for 50 bright states. For the original 13 rebel colonies, we have 13 bold stripes. Against the light blue sky, Old Glory is my reassurance and symbol of safety.

Old Glory has been our flag's name for 173 years and has always stood for the same thing. In 1831, Captain William Driver saw the American flag on his ship while in battle and called out, "Old Glory!" Like Captain Driver, whenever I see the flag I feel important, lucky, and grateful. The flag gives off a feeling of majesty, so the name is perfect.

Several people helped the flag get started. Francis Hopkinson was the designer. Betsy Ross, a seamstress, sewed the flag together. Washington said, "Let the 13 stars in a circle stand as a new constellation in the heavens." I know he was right.

Old Glory is to me... America. It is my life. It gave me liberty. It allows me to participate in the pursuit of happiness. For that, I am thankful.
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