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SUBMITTED by Kate Chamberlin, Daughters of the American Revolution (5-Jan-2010)

DAR Good Citizen Essay
By Olivia Gerken
Class of 2010, Palmyra-Macedon High School
The stage was set for how I, and many of my peers, would view our country in succeeding years.

As we grew, our world expanded and so, too, did the issues of contentions we would face as adults. We saw, as children, what we had to look forward to: war, global warming, economic instability, and deadly viruses topped a long list of problems our radios, news stations, newspapers, and fellow Americans brought to our attention. In my experience, this has led to a distinct lack of confidence in our nation as a whole: not only in our Government, but in our culture and our society as well.

Today, the U.S. faces a challenge that cannot be solved with improved weapon’s systems, bailouts or diplomatic dodging, but instead must be struggled with as it destabilizes the American values from the inside out. America’s children are losing faith in their nation, and in all that provides them so much. Without the support and activism that previous generations have used to carry the U.S., our nation will sleep in the apathy of her youth. If we continue to bombard the young with images of despair, where will we find those willing to fight for the success of the country?

The war on terror does not have a home-front. Why? Because too many do not believe in the war or are too nonchalant to take a stand on the issue either way. There is an alarming decrease of middle and upper class participation in military service. Why? The answer is much the same.

America must change its image, revitalize patriotism, and repaint the colors of red, white, and blue into the news feeds. Issues need to be addressed, yes, and everyone needs to be aware of what we face, but we as citizens must believe that we have the strength to over-come those road blocks. Moreover, the nations youth must possess the confidence and pride, as we are the people who will take our place as future policy makers, diplomats, and social research gurus. To promote the peace we profess to so strongly desire, we must first have the drive to work for it:
  • Call upon parents;
  • Call upon the government;
  • Call upon the media to make a change; to motivate and inspire.
  • Promote communication;
  • Promote education;
  • Promote the strengths that this great nation’s greatest generation has forgotten or failed to see.
This challenge is so trying for our nation, because it is a matter of our Nation. The U.S. serves the people, so the people need to come to a consensus as to their desires. To over-come the trials set before us by others, we must first over-come ourselves. As with all journeys, it starts with that first step.

Take your child to see fireworks this year, and be sure to explain just why we celebrate.

Photo by: Jane De Cracker
Photo Caption: Miss Olivia Gerken of Pal-Mac High School earns the prestigeous DAR Good Citizen Award and won the local essay contest

Miss Gerken’s essay and DAR Good Citizen application will be forwarded to the Regional level of competition where she will compete for a $500 award and chance to advance to the State and National levels.

Students in the 11 public high schools in Wayne County are encouraged to contact their Guidance Counselors to apply for other DAR awards and scholarships.

For inquiries about the DAR, its programs, and membership, please contact Regent Mrs. Patricia Petty, 315-589-3661; e-mail: pethive@verizon.net or Registrar Mrs. Anne Hotchkiss at 315-589-8011; e-mail: 2ASH@verizon.com. The Col. Wm. Prescott DAR Chapter House is located at 119 High Street, Newark, New York.


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2 Comments to "DAR Good Citizen Essay"

  1. Anonymous Said,


    Books, ETC.

    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 09:26:00 AM EST

  2. Gil Burgess Said,

    Very worthwhile thoughts nicely expressed! Olivia, please give some thought to exploring the possibility of attending one of our nation's service academies: West Point, the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy or Coast Guard Academy.

    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 10:21:00 AM EST


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