Holy Name eighth-grader wins Elks essay contest

ESCANABA – Maxwell Dagenais, an eighth-grade student at Holy Name, was a recent winner in the “What Does the National Anthem Mean to Me” essay contest sponsored by Elks Lodge 354 of Escanaba.

The student’s winning essay is as follows:

What Does the National Anthem Mean to Me?

The National Anthem is an icon of our country. It means a lot to people and tells how our country won independence. People interpret the anthem differently. I’m going to tell you about how I interpret it.

To me the national anthem tells the story of how our country gained its independence against the British in a battle that cost many lives of U.S. soldiers. I think this is an example of why we should respect our troops and realize that they fight and risk their lives every day to protect our right for freedom. I have heard the saying that “freedom doesn’t come free,” and that is true. The national anthem says, “Our flag was still there.” This means with our troops still fighting and not retreating from the British that we would remain free.

Another part of the song is the “perilous fight” which is another reason to respect and support the United State’s troops. The men that fought in that war were ordinary boys who lied about their age to join the “perilous” fight for our freedom. The men that fought in the War of 1812 risked their lives for America. These men didn’t know what would happen, but they had faith in their leaders and God, who this country was built on.

The men that fought for our country were true men that worship the Lord and gave everything to protect their families. I pray that people always have the desire to protect our freedom.