Blue Heron Elementary hosted its annual Veterans Day Program Nov. 7. The program featured various songs like “Fifty Nifty United States” and the two essay contest winners also read their essays about why they are proud to be Americans.

‘I am proud to be an American’

The following essays were written by two fifth-grade students at Blue Heron Elementary. Both Anne Blilie and Jake Gadient tied for first place in the annual Veterans Day essay contest. 

Anne Blilie 

I am proud to be an American because almost 319 million people (actually 320 million including me) from literally every single country in the world sleeping under our flag each night get to wake up every morning knowing freedom; the right to choose; to make choices all day every day. A right we enjoy because brave men and women fought throughout our history to get it and to this day fight to protect. 

In America every day is our choice, an opportunity to be who we are. We get to be ourselves, choose our friends, actions and our lives. We wear the clothing we want, style our hair how we want, pray to a God of our choosing (or our parent’s choosing), speak our mind (mom says I can only if my words don’t hurt someone. Maybe speaking mind is only if you are a big person), follow our dreams, decide what we want to be when we grow up or even where we might want to live. 

I am proud to be an American because America does not do things on her own or without others. Every day her people work to be better, bolder and wiser. The America I am growing up in and learning about is clear-eyed, big-hearted and undaunted by challenge. 

Having the freedom to come and go from Minnesota, earn/save/spend money, come to Blue Heron Elementary every day, be able to choose to go to college and who to marry or not for many Americans is just part of life. Many of us have forgotten what a wonderful gift freedom is. In some countries, people dream about and wish for freedom. They do not get to leave their country or providence without a government saying okay, they can not marry who they want or even go to school after a certain grade. 

We must not forget the sacrifices made, lives lost or how lucky we are to sleep each night under the Stars and Stripes of America “with certain unalienable Rights as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Jefferson, T.) (1776). The Declaration of Independence. I am proud to be American because 243 years later the America Dream is still real. 


Jake Gadient

I’m proud to be an American because I think we live in an awesome country! We live in the land of the American Dream where we can work for what we want, and there isn’t much you can’t do in America. We have great schools and doctors to take care of us. We have good food and clean water. Our Country has a lot of kind and caring people and we help each other when we need it. 

We have the greatest Military in the world! People in uniform protect the things we get to do every day. I’m very proud that my dad is in the Army. Right now, my dad is deployed in Iraq for the next year. I’m very sad that he is gone and I miss him very much, but I’m very proud of what he is doing for us and our country. Men and women go a long time without seeing their friends and family. They are risking their lives to help us. Again, all for us! My home is America! Go America!!! 

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