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Patriot's Pen winning essays

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 8th, 2013


Winners of the VFW Auxiliary Patriot’s Pen essay contest were, from left, Cullen Beals, second place; Jasmine Snow, first; and Cyndee Mattke, third. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED


The VFW Auxiliary recently sponsored the Patriot's Pen essay contest for students in grades six through eight. The theme was, “What I Would Tell Our Founding Fathers.”

Following are the first- through third-place essays. The first-place essay was entered in District 6 competition.



by Jasmine Snow

First place

What would I tell the framers? Honestly, I have no idea. What would I tell the fathers of this great nation, what can I tell them, what shouldn’t I, can’t I tell them? Should I tell them that their traditions and hopes have been carried on to this generation? Should I tell them how many wars have been fought and how many soldiers we have lost? Should I tell James Madison, the father of the Constitution, how many times his work has been rewritten? Should I tell George Washington, owner of almost 100 slaves, that he would be discouraged for his ownership in this day in age? Should I tell Benjamin Franklin how his work has not only inspired Americans for years, but it been used for years? Moreover, what would they tell or, say, to me? I suppose I wouldn’t judge them do to the era of which they come from. Let me clarify, I am an African-American girl. They come from a time where children had no power, women had no power, and African-Americans had no power, no rights. Why on earth would they listen to me? Like I said before, I wouldn’t judge then for passing judgement on me for my

race, sex, or age. I respect each of the Framers, all for different reasons and different respects. I suppose I wouldn’t say what most fans say when they meet their idols. I would inform them on what they would like to know and what they would need to know in words they could relate to and understand. Although these men didn’t free my race and give equal rights to my gender, I cannot hold them accountable. Those are the men that keep me safe today, that keep my godson safe tomorrow, those are the men who will keep my children and other children safe when I, and others fail to do so. I can’t speak for every American citizen, but while I can speak for myself I must say, “I would tell the Frammers any and everything they deserve to know. I would, yes, be ashamed to say some Americans take for granted what they fought for and what others still fight for. But I am so proud to be an American.” Oh, and I suppose thanks.



by Cullen Beals

Second place

I would tell them about how this country has changed over two hundred thirty-six years. Like slavery to no slavery, money looks different, and the clothes we wear are different. They probably would be scared of how we have made electronics that they did not have back then, but they would be impressed with how are guns have advanced and are easier to operate.

I would thank them for making this country the way it is and what I think about the three branches. When I am telling them about what I think about the three branches, I would tell them how they have changed. I would tell them about our current president, who the senators of South Dakota are, and who the representative of south Dakota is.

I would ask them what it was like back then and what it was like getting ruled over by the king of England. I would also ask them how they got the ideas for the Boston Tea Party. I would also show them how highly appreciated they are. I would show them around my town, Huron, and ask them what they think. I would also ask them why they like or dislike it.

These men were the most powerful men in the U.S. government, without them we would not have this country and we would all be scattered around the world with different histories and backgrounds. If we wouldn’t meet each other, some of us wouldn’t even be in this world. America is based on a whole bunch of different religions and heritages, without them this country wouldn’t be exotic anymore.

I am glad to be American and to know I am free without worrying about being attacked by other countries. This country is beautiful and not at all boring. It is different in many different ways that I can’t describe in just one day.



By Cyndee Mattke

Third place

If George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were right in front of me these are about twenty questions I would ask them:

• 1st: Why were you guys philosophical republicans?

• 2nd: Were you guys ever competitors or at least wanted to win all the time?

• 3rd: Why did people decide to build a White House?

• 4th: Why does the White House have thirty-five bathrooms in it?

• 5th: How long did it take to build the White House? How old is it?

• 6th: Why hasn’t there been a girl president?

• 7th: Why did George Washington get picked to be president instead of any person?

• 8th: Why haven’t we had a Constitutional Convention in recent years?

• 9th: Who has been the youngest president? (Oldest)

• 10th: How many delegates took part in the signing of the Constitution?

• 11th: What was the average age of delegates at the Constitutional convention?

• 12th: Are taxes mentioned a great amount in the Constitution?

• 13th: How did George Washington get picked to get his face on the one dollar bill?

• 14th: Which president was the tallest?

• 15th: Why did Franklin D. Roosevelt get elected longer than any other president?

• 16th: Who was the first president to live in the White House?

• 17th: Could America ever form a more perfect union?

• 18th: Was there any girl signers of the Constitution?

• 19th: Was there any other main writers in the Constitution other than George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, and thomas Jefferson?

• 20th: What were the youngest and oldest signers of the Constitution?

These were some of the questions that I would ask America’s founding Fathers if it was all I would have like forty to fifty more questions. But all of my questions that I would ask them would have to do with them. But I would have to have like three more pages so I am going to leave it at that.

This was done by me Cyndee Mattke. I really hoped you enjoyed it just as well as I did!

For the complete article see the 01-05-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-05-2013 paper.











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