Gibraltar Students Write Patriot Pen Essays

The local VFW has resumed its annual Patriot Pen essay contest, which encourages young minds to examine America’s history – and their own experiences in modern American society – by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay expressing their views based on a patriotic theme. This year’s theme was How Can I Be a Good American?

Below and in the following issues, we will share some of these essays written by local students with encouragement from their teacher Jeannie Hoffman.

Respect Others’ Opinions
by Celeste Jauregui, Grade 6

I can be a good American by respecting others’ opinions. Many people in this nation believe that their opinion is the only right one. The best way to make a difference right now is to let people know they have a voice. Though there are ways to manipulate and persuade others, you have control over your opinions and yourself only. “Treat others with respect. How you treat others will be how they treat you.” — Buddha 

Many people in this nation have very strong opinions, therefore many of those opinions are shared. But they are not always shared correctly. For example, you can share your opinion by screaming in people’s faces that you’re correct and your opinion matters. That’s a terrible way of sharing how you feel about a subject. In addition it is not a good idea. Respect others’ opinions if those opinions don’t hurt others. This is very important, because if someone’s opinion is that every person of color should go back to their country, it’s not respectable. Why? Because that opinion is hurting others. As a result, respect others’ opinions if those said opinions don’t hurt others. 

The best way to make a difference right now is to let people know they have a voice. Whenever someone is talking to you about their opinion, let them know you are there. Let them know that they are talking and someone is listening. One thing I love is when I am talking and people are showing signs that they are listening. As a result of what has been said, if you like when people listen to you, do the same back, it can make a big impact.

You have control over yourself. Though there are multiple ways to manipulate/persuade others into having your opinion, you truly and originally only have control over yourself. No matter how bad we want others to have the same opinion as us and think like us. We only have control over ourselves. And that is just fine. 

We can be good Americans by respecting others’ opinions. By respecting others beliefs. And by letting people know that they have a voice too. I want you to finish reading this essay and know, we can be a good American by respecting others’ opinions.

“Learn to respect all kinds of people because everyone is fighting a battle on their own. We all have our problems, bad sides and bad days. But there is so much more behind it, behind you, behind me, behind everyone.” — Jessica Stockamp

How Can I Be a Good American?
by Steven Prescott, Grade 6

How can we be good Americans? I can be a good American by doing what we’re supposed to do. For example, if no one did school then we wouldn’t be educated. If no one had jobs we wouldn’t have services, products, money and it would instantly kill the whole economy. Finally, if everyone worried about everyone else then they wouldn’t do their own job, because they are worried about other jobs and other people. Doing what you’re supposed to do is like melting butter on a hot pan. When everyone does their part everything goes more smoothly. 

Getting a job isn’t a duty, but it is a responsibility. If you don’t work then a business could be short-staffed. And they wouldn’t have enough people to work. You could get a job to help them, by not working you are not earning money to pay rent or buy food. When there is a high demand for a product like computer chips the factories that make the chips don’t have them or don’t have enough people to make them. Therefore they don’t produce them, and the company loses money. So then by not helping them, you are limiting what they can do. Like if a kid ordered a computer and there were no computer chips he wouldn’t be able to get it for some time because they don’t have any computer chips. 

If a teacher couldn’t make it to class, then a different teacher will substitute so then the students can learn. If you don’t like something that you are doing like school, well too bad because you have to do it. It is a duty for all kids. In school, a kid’s job is to learn and pay attention in class to get good grades so they can progress. If we didn’t have school then it would be really hard for us to live because we would be pretty dumb so it is good that we have school.

You are a garbage man then your job is to pick up trash not to deliver the mail, or if your job is to do the mail then deliver the mail safely to the house and don’t throw it or tamper with it. When you work it helps out the business stay in business because they have enough workers to work the hours. If no one did anything like supply food we wouldn’t be able to buy food. If there are no jobs to work then we would have no money then everything would be out of place and it would be like a slab city. 

This is how I can be a good American because if no one did school then we wouldn’t be smart if no one did jobs then we wouldn’t have food to eat. If everyone worried about everyone else then they wouldn’t do their job because they are worried about other jobs and people. So by doing what I’m supposed to be doing I can be a good American.

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