COLFAX — This year’s winner of the essay contest sponsored by the American Legion Russell-Toycen Post 131 of Colfax is Colfax High School student Elizabeth Schmitt.
The theme for the contest is “What Memorial Day Means to Me.”
As the first-place winner, Elizabeth received a check for $100 and was asked to read her essay at the Memorial Day ceremony at Colfax Evergreen Cemetery.
The second-place winner was Karyn DeLorge. She received a check for $50.
The third-place winner was Miranda Knutson. She received a check for $25.
American Legion Post Commander Chris Larson announced the winners at the dedication ceremony for the Dee Clark Pavilion and Outdoor Classroom on May 22 at Colfax Elementary.
Here is Elizabeth Schmitt’s essay:
Any formal definition of Memorial Day will say that it is a day observed to honor the fallen men and women who died while serving our country. It is a day to remember those who died during battle, who went off to war and never came back.
But to me, Memorial Day is a day for the family of the fallen soldier to think of their loved one, a day for the family to reconnect and remember their loved one whom they will never see again. It is to remember those that left and did not return.
Can you imagine what it is like for a family who has lost a member to war? For a family to watch a loved one leave to go fight and never have the chance to return home? Losing a parent, sibling, or child can be devastating. Even having a loved one go off to war can be a catastrophic change for a family.
Now imagine losing them while they are gone at war, not being able to be there with them in their last moments.
Memorial Day is a day to help a family remember that family member, to honor them and think about them, and keep their legacy alive. It is a day to remember them.
For me, I am lucky to have my whole family. Both of my grandfathers served in the military as well as several of my other relatives, and they all made it back home safely. But not all people are so fortunate. Many military families lose loved ones to war.
Throughout all of history, the estimated number of people who were killed in war is about 150 million to 1 billion people.
Now think of all the families affected by this. They lost brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. They lost loved ones that they will never see again.
Memorial Day is a day to think of and remember those that died. It is a day to honor them and make sure that we never forget them.
Memorial Day is important because we can never forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. They are the reason we are free. Even if a person has not lost a family member or relative to war, it is still important to remember the fallen. Those who died can not be forgotten.
Remembering those who died during war is what Memorial Day is for. It is a day dedicated to the fallen, who died protecting our country and our freedom. They will not be forgotten. Memorial Day is a special day just for them, a day for us to be reminded of their sacrifice.
Memorial Day to me is a day for people to remember those who died to keep us free. They left home and all that they knew to go fight far away, never to return home.
It is for people who have lost loved ones to remember them and honor their memory.
It is for people to remember the soldiers who have fallen during war.
It is for us to keep their memory alive and be grateful for their sacrifice, which allows us to be free.
Memorial Day to me is a day for remembering those who died to protect our freedom.