Saturday, February 4th, 2017
Girl's essay reaches new heights
By Tom Stankard
Eighth-grader Emma Minnich is the first Celina competitor to reach the state lev. . .
CELINA - Celina eighth-grader Emma Minnich is the district's first student to advance to the state Patriot's Pen competition.
Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme, according to their website. This year's theme was "the America they believe in."
Minnich's essay was selected to move on to VFW District level. From there, she was chosen to move on to the VFW Department (state) level.
She attended a banquet in Columbus, read her essay aloud and earned second place.
In her essay, Minnich wrote the National Anthem is a time to pay "our respect" for those who fought for America and that she believes U.S. has "kindness and power due the Constitution our founding fathers wrote."
America is strong "because of our freedoms," she wrote.
"Americans are given the freedom of the religion, the freedom of speech and press and the right to bear arms," she said.
Later in her essay, Minnich said America is powerful because of its education system.
"America contains the most high-ranking colleges in the world. The educated citizens will guide our country to technological advances, which will make our country stronger," she said.
She wrote America is passionate because of "our response to 9/11."
"After the crisis, our country began to grieve, and Americans memorialized the victims of the attack," she said.
America is also compassionate because "we have united to help anyone who is struggling in our country," she wrote.
"Child care, family services, Medicaid and Food Stamps have all been set up for Americans who are less fortunate," she said.
Looking back, Minnich said writing the essay has made her realize why she's proud to be an American.
"The strength and kindness is what makes America one of the leading countries in the world," she said.
Minnich plans to save her $1,200 prize money to buy a car one day and to help pay for college.
Minnich said she wants to use her writing voice to promote democracy in high school. Eventually, she plans to study to be an orthodontist.
Teacher Jackie Mertz, who entered the essay into the competition, said her students have participated in the Patriot's Pen competition for about 30 years. To date, only two others have reached the district level, she said, and Minnich is the only student to reach the state competition.
"She's a great student and a great representative of Celina," Mertz said. "She's a sweetheart."