Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Prior to Friday’s celebration, each member of the St. John Young Marines was asked to write an essay about what veterans and Veterans Day mean to them. The following is the top essay chosen by Unit Commander Brian Bertrand and written by 12-year-old Justin Brown.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” Every morning, we recite these words at school before the American flag, our star spangled banner. When we stand, we are honoring our God, our country, and it’s veterans. Veterans should be honored for their service, sacrifice, and courage.

Veterans are people who have served faithfully in any branch of the U.S. Military. They are those who have given of themselves to defend this country against others that try to take away our liberties and freedom. These special men and women have given their dedication to ensuring the safety of Americans everywhere. Service provided by veterans have shaped this America into the country that it is today.

Men and women who have served in the armed forces have made great sacrifices to successfully complete their tasks. Veterans have had to leave their families behind. The time periods of their departure could range from a few months to years. Some veterans have sacrificed their lives to save millions of others. Sacrifices made by our veterans have kept this country and its citizens safe from harm. All of the sacrifices made by this country’s veterans are honored each year on a special day, Veteran’s Day.

Courage can be used to describe every veteran in America. Every veteran needed to have courage every day away from home. The backbone for their dedication to serve this wonderful country was courage. The courage it took to leave home to a foreign land unknown to them . The courage to wake up every morning not knowing if you were going to come home safe. Courage to put their lives on the line in order to save millions of others. I always think of a veteran as one with good character; one who is willing to help another before thinking about his/ herself.

In closing, I love the word “veteran”! It describes the men and women who have served this country with great dedication, sacrifice, and courage.

The word “veteran” has a great meaning in my life. Both my grandfathers and great- grandfathers have served honorably in the army.

Their stories help me to understand what they went through and how they felt.

Listen to the words of veterans around you, and you can be inspired just as I have!