Zech Judd- VOD Essay
November 13, 2014
Zech Judd placed 4th in the local VFW post's Voice of Democracy Essay. Students had to write and record a 3-5 minute essay on "Why Veterans are Important to Our Nation's History and Future." Zech will receive prize money at the awards ceremony on Saturday, November 15th.
Upon a hilltop I see a tree. It stands tall with pride, and despite its youth, this tree has weathered many a powerful hurricane. The storms of war and the storms of peace have left marks upon it. But the branches of our great nation still grow onward and upward through the valor and dedication of our veterans, those brave souls who have served in our military standing strong, yet yielding to the winds of change. Bending, yet never breaking, our soldiers march on determined to protect the freedoms of those they love. That is why it is important to remember the veterans who have fought for our nation. They understand our freedom like no one else can. It is because of these veterans that we possess our freedoms, and it will be on account of them that we continue to enjoy them, past, present, and future.
The roots of The Tree stretch into the far reaches of British history when the United States had never been heard of and Britain ruled the high seas. Ideas were then born that were later drawn upon when the first veterans of our nation formed the Constitution. These heroes of war and of peace fixed our destiny in this great document setting the stage for all of the wars and all of the heroes yet to come. A sprout grew up from the base of the great tree and thinking itself strong and independent, tried to grow away. The veterans of the Civil War, however, ensured that our country was not divided. Then there was peace and the branches of our military grew stronger and gained more substance. Two World Wars produced many noble branches, many of whom fell in the storm. Just recently the great tree has matured, and throughout the last hundred years our veterans have produced a stability and security that our nation has not known before.
The tree is now the greatest in the world, his branches thicker and more numerous than the rest. He grows to great power and presides over his woodland court. The forest is his realm and he fondly looks after it, ensuring that poisonous vines gain no foothold in his wood. He endeavors to keep the peace, and each and every branch is a vital part of the whole. He has become almost more like a machine now than a living, breathing thing, with many moving parts, each with its own task. Yet still a tree, his great trunk has split into three lesser trunks representing water, air, and earth. These three great branches effectively keep watch over their respective elements. How so? Only because of the living, breathing, sacrificing labor of the veterans who serve in each branch. Therefore these veterans must be encouraged and remembered as both the scourge of the wrong and the protectors of the right.
In the future, the ways in which our veterans are remembered may well determine whether or not the tree will continue to grow healthy and strong. If our veterans are to continue to live out their calling as technology evolves and the art of war changes, it will depend upon our watering and care for this tree through the support of our veterans. By doing this, our veterans can stand firm in their beliefs. The tree will grow on, but pray that he does not begin to rot in places and grow to be corrupt and diseased. Wars continue to loom and the forest moves on; saplings grow and old trees rot away. But this tree must stand strong.
Upon a hilltop I see a tree. It stands tall with pride, and despite its youth, this tree has weathered many a powerful hurricane. If the tree of our nation will go on standing, it will only be because of the branches, our veterans, who stretch out to protect our liberties. “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Let the echos of our past be the gateway to our nation's future as we go on remembering and honoring our veterans.
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