Fallon students advance to state judging | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon students advance to state judging

Steve Ranson
The Veterans of Foreign Wars recognized two Churchill County Middle School students for their participation in the Patriot's Pen essay contest. From left, Mac McLean, senior vice commander; Britney McArthur, first place; Dick Hurstak, post commander; Anbar Peres, second place; and Donna Bettencourt, president of the VFW Auxiliary.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1002 and its auxiliary recognized three Churchill County students this week for their participation in an essay contest sponsored by the national service organization.

Ashbee Trotter, a freshman at Churchill County High School, won the local Voice of Democracy contest and will now compete at the state level. Her essay followed the theme of “My Responsibility to America.” About 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives each year in this contest by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme.

The Patriot’s Pen essay contest is for students in sixth through eighth grades. The VFW-sponsored competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme.

Trotter wrote about how certain rights come with responsibilities such as educating and informing ourselves about the nation’s leaders and the responsibility for community participation.

“These basic responsibilities, although not enforced by mandate or law, are the foundation of American principles and work ethic,” she wrote in her introduction.

Trotter stated in her essay Americans should continue to follow the Constitution as this country’s basic foundation and defend it against others who want to override it.

“We have the responsibility to respect other citizens’ constitutional rights, and they have the responsibility to respect ours in equal measure. One of those rights is the right to vote,” she penned.

Trotter wrote how people should be beneficial citizens in their communities and to support themselves and their families without feeling means of entitlement.

“We should not be so entitled as to leech off our fellow citizens the things they earned themselves,” she stated. “We have the responsibility to respect other people’s rights.”

The Fallon freshman said the United States gives its citizens many right, and the country’s residents have the responsibility to respect others.

“No matter who we are or what opinions we have, we are all Americans. We all share the same country, the same rights and the same responsibilities,” she concluded.

The first-place winner in the middle school contest is Britney McArthur, a seventh grade student. Her essay now goes to the state level for judging. The essay follows the title of “The America I Believe In.” McArthur focused her paper on the Revolutionary War and the fight for independence, the American Civil War and Civil Rights.

McArthur said the independence the colonies gained from Great Britain in the 1700s is why she believes in America. She identified key leaders of the time and how they formed new forces and prevailed.

She touched on the Civil War as her second main point.

“(President Abraham) Lincoln believed slavery was morally wrong so when he was elected president in 1860, he urged the preservation of the Union.”

MacArthur said the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s promoted equality for all and attributed Congress for eliminating inequality based on race.

Anbar Perez, who came in second in the school contest, said the America in which she believes gave her a chance and also gives others a better opportunity in life.

“Here you feel safe to have an opinion from other people,” she stated. “In America, people have a chance to do what they like.”

Perez wrote citizens have the ability to choose the leader they want and who will do the best job for the country.