What Does War Have
To Do With Our Flag?
by Nicholas Curth
What does war have to do with our flag? That’s a good question. I’m going to take you on a brief journey through time. Come on, let’s go!
Welcome to Fort McHenry! Hi, I’m Francis Scott Key, writer of the “Star Spangled Banner”. I’m going to tell you a little bit about my poem. “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light” - this is what I saw from the fort in the morning. But, what gave it away was that I heard bombs bursting in air. This gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. America’s brave soldiers took over the British once more.
The United States of America’s flag represents a lot, and tells a lot about our past. The American flag, as I hold in my hand, stands for freedom. We didn’t always have freedom; we had to fight for it. At one point in time, we were ruled by England. Now we are able to govern ourselves. Here is an acronym for F.L.A.G.
F. F stands for freedom. Freedom from being ruled by other countries.
L. The L stands for loyalty — loyalty to our flag and country. The flag has rules, and we must follow them. For example, we can’t let the flag touch the ground.
A. A stands for ask. Ask a soldier how it felt to be in combat, to be serving for our wonderful country.
G. The G stands for God. God has done so much to protect us during all this war. Just remember, obey the rules of the flag.
War, a powerful word. Not as powerful as flag. Our flag has been through a lot. Just think of all those brave men and women serving overseas right now. Think of returned veterans, wounded soldiers, soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, for us, for you. They fought for our country, our flag, and our home, which we can call America. So repay them the favor, protect America. After all, this is your home. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
by Rileigh Rahrig
This is a very special crucifix. It was made of black wood in the 1800s in Germany and has a skull and crossbones at the feet of Christ. The skull and crossbones symbolizes Jesus’s victory over death. It has lasted 5 generations. Some people might think it is valuable for its age, but it is even more special to me.
My ninety four year old great grandfather Omer Pothast served in the US army during World War Two. He entered on July 4, 1944 and returned two years later. His dad received this crucifix from his dad and gave it to my great-grandfather before he left. He carried it in his pocket with him during the war. At night when he kept watch, he took out this crucifix and prayed the rosary to make him feel safe. To me this crucifix represents sacrifice because he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
Like many other young American men during that time period, my great grandfather went overseas to Europe and risked his life to end the evil and keep our freedom. He left his family and friends for a battlefield. It was very difficult for him because he loved the people he left behind. When he prayed the rosary, he remembered his family and friends.
My great grandfather went through many scary days and nights to keep our freedom. When I look at this crucifix I think of all the people who lost their lives or the lives of someone they loved during the war. I also think of sacrifice and everyone who helped keep our freedom. Because of that, I’m proud to be an American, where I know I’m free thanks to the brave men and women who have served our country.
World War II
by Ethan Dunlap
My God Flag and Country project is about World War II and my three great grandfathers who fought in this war. I chose this topic because it seems interesting to me. I also chose this topic because I wanted to learn more about what my three great grandfathers did in the war. What happened in this war interested me. There are some funny and scary stories that happened to my great grandfathers.
World War II started in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. It was fought between the Axis powers (Japan, Italy, and Germany) and the Allied powers (U.S., Great Britain, and the Soviet Union). The U.S. joined World War II on Dec. 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Learning about Pearl Harbor made me feel a little angry but mostly sad for what happened there. World War II ended when Germany surrendered in 1945.
At least 16 million servicemen from both sides died in World War II and many more were wounded. Many millions of civilians were also killed and wounded. Men and women in the U.S. worked together to support the U.S. troops. My great grandmother, Betty Flick Agler, was one of the many women who went to work in a factory during the war. I think it is amazing that she ran a drill press because that was a job that mostly men handled.
I had three great grandfathers who served in World War II. My great grandfather, Robert Dunlap, was a medic in the army and served on the frontlines during the Battle of the Bulge. One funny story about my great grandpa Dunlap happened when his men set up base in an old castle. One night he got in trouble for sliding down the winding staircase banister when he was bored. My great grandfather, Harvey Chiles was a tech sergeant in the army air force, and was stationed in New Guinea. He was trained as a gunnery sergeant but when he reported for duty, his commanding officer made him a mess sergeant. My great grandfather, Jordan Flick served in the army and was stationed in Germany. He was one of the soldiers who went through towns that had been bombed and searched for Germany soldiers hiding out. One time when German soldiers were shooting at him, a bullet got stuck in the heel of his boot! I think all my great grandfathers were really brave!
I’m so glad I got to pick the topic of World War II for my report. I learned so much about World War II that I didn’t know. I learned things about my great grandparents that made me see them as real people instead of just stories. I’m proud of our country for winning the war and for everyone who did their part to make that happen. I’m proud to be American because of my grandfathers that fought in this war and the sacrifices they made for my freedom.
The Party That
Wasn’t a Party
by Trysten Smith
Almost everyone has been to some type of party. Most people think of a party as fun, games, music, and a good time with your friends. However, one of the most famous parties in American history was the Boston Tea Party and was DEFINITELY NOT like a party you have attended.
Picture this … early Colonial America, 1773, increased tension building between the American colonists and the British government. At the completion of the French and Indian War, Britain was left with a huge increase in their national debt due to the expenses incurred from fighting such a long war. As a way to help pay down their new debt, the British government decided to charge higher taxes to the American colonies, which eventually led to the Boston Tea Party.
Colonists sailed to America in search for religious and political freedoms. Although they were living in a new country, they were still under the rule of the British government and became angered at the increased demands of Britain over them. Why were they mad? Many reasons. The main reasons were the Stamp Act and the Townshend Act, which included taxation policies. Along with the increased amounts of taxes being demanded, the British also enacted other laws that decreased the freedoms of the American colonists. The American colonists were furious and protested these acts. In response to the taxes, the colonists discouraged the purchase of imported British goods. Because of the loss of revenue from the boycott, British Parliament withdrew all the Townshend Act except the taxes on tea.
The Tea Act of 1773 was enacted by the British Parliament as an effort to save the failing British East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and essentially granting it a monopoly on American tea trade. Many colonists viewed the act as yet another example of Britain’s taxation tyranny. American colonists condemned this act and many planned to boycott their tea. When the British tea ships Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver arrived at the Boston Harbor, many citizens wanted the tea sent back to England without the payment of any taxes. On December 16th, a group of 70 men disguised as Mohawk Indians, also recognized as “The Sons of Liberty,” boarded the ships. George Hewes recalled “We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard.” The men threw 342 chests of tea in the harbor, which was 18,000 pounds worth of tea! It was worth more than $700,000 in today’s currency. The colonists actions, which became known as the Boston Tea Party, set in motion events that led directly to the American Revolution.
Since the American Revolution resulted in our country gaining freedom from Britain and establishing an independent nation, I feel that we can credit our American freedoms to “The Sons of Liberty” and their renegade costume party in the Boston Harbor.
by Anna Cline
We live in the greatest country in the world: The United States of America. To other countries, we are best known for our freedom. Even though we have always considered ourselves a free country, we have an unfortunate past: slavery. Slaves are people who are the property of another person and are forced to obey them.
When I think anti-slavery, I think about Abraham Lincoln. He was elected president of the United States in 1860. Lincoln was president when the country went to war against each other in 1861. The war was to determine the issue of slavery: The Civil War. Even before the war started, the north was helping the slaves in the south escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a series of secret routes and safe houses that slaves used to escape to freedom. Many black men and women such as Harriet Tubman, Thomas Garret, Samuel Burris and William Still would lead the slaves to freedom. If they were caught, the punishments would be severe. Harriet Tubman once said, “I never ran my train off track and I never lost a passenger.”
In 1865 the Confederates surrendered and the war was officially over. Slavery was outlawed and slaves were set free. Even though slaves were free, they were still treated unfairly. Civil rights was a big problem in the south. “Colored” people couldn’t use the same water fountains or bathrooms as white people. They couldn’t sit on a seat on a bus if a white person didn’t have a seat … and so much more. I’m so thankful that slavery and discrimination are against the law. I’m glad that we live in a country where all people are free.
Our Country by Rail
by Michelle Rode
“Welcome everyone to the USS Rail Way Train. Everyone here is in for a great treat. Today we are going to be traveling across the United States by train and visiting major places of our country.”
“Our first stop for today is the Grand Canyon in Arizona. With the Colorado River running through it, the Grand Canyon has been a major part of how our country has come to be. So many important people have traveled through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River to extend our country.”
“Ladies and gentlemen hold on tight because we are approaching our next stop, Mount Rushmore. Keystone, South Dakota is where you will find this magnificent sculpture. I like Mount Rushmore because it shows some of the famous presidents and history that has helped to build what our country is today. As you can see, the famous president faces on Mount Rushmore are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.”
“Our next stop on this exciting adventure is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This is the exact place where one of the biggest battles of the Civil War took place. It was the turning point of the Civil War. In the end of the battle, the union won. The battle helped to lead what our country is today, free of slavery. I love how our country is equal to all people no matter what the color of their skin, their culture, or their religion. Our country is called the big melting pot for a reason; everyone is welcome no matter what their heritage.”
“As the USS Rail Way Train continues on its tracks, we approach our next stop, Washington D.C. This, as most of you should know, is our nation’s capital. Washington D.C. is where the president of the United States lives. Our government is called a democracy, which means that we have so many freedoms. That is why I love this country so much, everyone has a say. We all have the right to be whoever we want to be.”
“Our final stop on this journey is New York City. There is where you will find the World Trade Center. In 2001 terrorists attacked us with four planes. Two of the planes landed right where in the twin towers. Looking back on it today makes me feel hurt and wonder why someone would hurt so many people like that. Think about how hurt you would have been if your family was in one of those buildings. What were you doing at that moment? Do you remember? Then I was only 1, but today I think about all of the lives lost and how hurt our country was. Today there is a memorial to remember the people who died on that horrible day.
“Well I hope you have enjoyed your trip on the USS Rail Way Train, across the great country of the United States of America. I was glad to show you the major places of our country. I also hope that you realized how important these places are to our country. Have a nice day.”