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FRA’s Americanism Essay Contest

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FRA’s Americanism Essay Contest

Why I Am Proud To Be An American

By Lydia Macfarlan (This year’s winner!)

11th grader at Siloam Springs High School, Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

As I read through the pages of my American history book, it’s as if I’ve stepped into a time machine. It takes me back to places, people and events that are part of my Country’s story.

My time travel stops first at Valley Forge. I shiver as I see men dressed in rags and marching in the snow. Bright red footprints trail behind them.

The bleeding feet of the men at Valley Forge make me proud to be an American.

My next stop is Philadelphia, where I peer in the window at Freedom Hall. I cover my ears as the arguing of the Founders grows louder and more heated.

As consensus is reached and the Constitution is completed, I am proud to be an American.

Next I peek into the workshops and see our nation’s great inventors: Alexander Graham Bell with is telephone, the Wright Brothers with their airplane, and Steve Jobs with his Apple computer.

The creativity of these men makes me proud to be an American.

Speeding forward in time, my travel machine lands with a jolt as I hit the rocky island of Iwo Jima. I see six men laboring to lift the American flag.

Seeing the Stars and Stripes flying above Mount Suribachi makes me proud to be an American.

The temperature becomes sweltering, as my travel machine dips down into the jungle of Vietnam. I’m saddened to see young men the age of my brothers dying on the battlefield.

The great sacrifices these young men make for freedom makes me proud to be an American.

My travel machine dodged skyscrapers as it next landed on a crowded street. To my horror, I saw people fleeing the rubble and fire left from the collapsed Twin Towers.

As I saw policemen and fire fighters running in to help, it made me proud to be an American.

My history book allows me to look back and be proud and also look forward with anticipation about how my story will become part of America’s story. I’m proud to be an American!



Lydia Macfarlan, Siloam Springs Arkansas, 11th Grade

7th Grade

First Place: Thomas Oliver, Lynwood, Wasington; Branch 18

Second Place: Payton Tapp, Mesquite, Texas; Branch 11

Third Place: Erin Haley Ritter, Caney, Kansas; Branch 161

8th Grade

First Place: Colton Dudley, Culdesac, Idaho; Branch 63

Second Place: Ruth Mitchell, Pecos, Texas; Branch 201

Third Place: Juan Briseno, Santa Maria, California; Branch 272

9th Grade

First Place: Rebekah Mitchell, Mocksville, North Carolina; Branch 217

Second Place: Callie DeHut, Graham, Washington; Branch 104

Third Place: Christopher Hitchcock, Allegan, Michigan; Branch 298

10th Grade

First Place: Brandi Mitchell, Evington, Virginia; Branch 41

Second Place: Sasha Thompson, Huntsville, Texas; Branch 201

Third Place: Helen Huh, Diamond Bar, California; Branch 175

11th Grade

First Place: *Lydia Macfarlan, Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Branch 251

Second Place: Michelle Jane Duan, Fremont, California; Branch 287

Third Place: Gina Martuscello, Marlboro, New York; Branch 229

12th Grade

First Place: Kyle Permann, Frisco, Texas; Branch 11

Second Place: Madison Macaway, Ellijay, Georgia; Branch 89

Third Place: Annie Sun, Rochester, Minnesota; Branch 136

2015/2016 Americanism Essay Contest

What The United States Flag Stands For

Grand Prize: $5,000 Plus 18 National Awards and Regional and Local Prizes

Eligibility: Students, Grades 7 thru 12

Deadline: December 1, 2015

Requirements: 350 words or less on “What The United States Flag Stands For”


  • All entrants shall be students in grades seven through twelve (or equivalent).

  • Entrants must be sponsored by a member or branch of the Fleet Reserve Association or a unit of the Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association.

  • The essay shall be on the theme designated and shall not exceed 350 words.

  • The essay shall be legibly written or typed on one side of the paper.

  • A student may submit only one entry each year.

  • Each entry must be accompanied by a separate sheet stating: the entrant’s name; address; zip code; telephone number; school grade (or equivalent); name of school or the words “home schooled;” number of words in essay; and the sponsoring shipmate/branch/unit. A parent or guardian must also sign the cover sheet.

  • Entries submitted to branches shall be submitted to the Branch Americanism-Patriotism Committee and postmarked not later than December 1st for judging at the branch level.

  • Entries sponsored by members-at-large shall be submitted to the national chairman and forwarded to an appropriate branch for judging in their respective grade group. All entries shall be postmarked not later than December 1, 2015.

  • All entries become the property of the Fleet Reserve Association.

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