The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


November 12, 2012

Hannah Turcotte: ‘Do you have what it takes?’

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Hannah Turcotte, Third place

Grade 10, Carl Junction High School

Parent, Kathleen Turcotte

Teacher, Sharolette Pendergrass


Veterans have defended my liberties and freedom by remembering what this country was founded for, believing in it, and having the courage to shed blood protecting it.

We are all told in our history classes the facts and events that created our great nation. But do we understand why they happened, or is it all just ancient history to us? Do we know what went through the minds of the original colonists who fought the significant battles that led to the great liberation from England? Do we recognize what went through their minds to stand against those of stronger fists to uphold their heart-beating beliefs? Our veterans do.

Our veterans also know how much of the world today is still unjust. They know that there are always people out there ready to shoot down any who oppose them. Yet, they believe in their hearts that when bullies rise up, the rest of us have to beat them back, whatever the cost.

They not only know what our Founding Fathers knew to be true all those many years ago, but they sign their names on papers, and hop onto trains heading straight to what they know could be certain death. Are they afraid? Of course, it is only human to be. But that agonizing fear is what makes their courage worthwhile, and what makes these men and women our heroes. They see that it is their duty to stand for their, our and everyone’s inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator. And so, they do their part so we may live a life that is filled with liberty, justice and freedom.

So dear readers, I think the real question here is not how our veterans have defended our liberties and freedoms, because they have shown us through their outstanding actions. But do we, as Americans, have what it takes to uphold these same values and live by them daily —not just from our words, or petty debates, but from our standing actions?

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