Weihert wins Voice of Democracy essay

Published 12:55 pm Thursday, March 10, 2011

Post 10349 Mill Spring Quartermaster/District 16 Commander Johnny Taylor and Ladies Auxiliary President Geraldine Taylor present Sarah Weihert (center) with a certificate and a check for winning the Voice of Democracy essay contest at the Post level, and coming in third at the District 16 level. (photo submitted)

Sarah Weihert, a sophomore at Polk County High School, won the Post 10349 Mill Spring’s Voice of Democracy essay contest at the Post level, and came in third at the District 16 level.

Weihert’s essay theme for 2010 was “Does America Still Have Heroes.” The following is her essay.

“Does America Still Have Heroes

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By Sarah Weihert

Look around you at America and describe what you see. There are skyscrapers and big businesses in the city, and rolling hills and farm lands in the country. What about the people? Entrepreneurs out, students going to class, mothers staying home to take care of the kids while fathers are off to work. In a place as wonderful as America, people take pride in their country and want to protect their home, and a hero is the one we put our faith in to protect us.

A hero is not always dressed in a cape and boots; it could be someone walking down the street that sees a lost child and helps them reunite with their mother. Maybe it’s a doctor informing you that you’re cancer-free after battling for your life. Heroes may be strangers fighting overseas for your freedom, or be it a loved one in the military.

To illustrate another scenario, imagine that your house caught on fire in the middle of the night. When you escaped and dialed 9-1-1, all you could think about was the firefighters on their way to rescue your family. Seeing the red truck and hearing the lights would be like seeing Batman appear to save the day, but even more amazing because those men were putting themselves in danger to protect your loved ones. In addition to a personal experience, as an American you probably remember the firefighters who perished on September 11,2001 when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were hit by two commercial planes. Firemen went inside to rescue people as the building was collapsing, and as they were trying to be heroes, some became victims, never to leave the rubble left behind. 343 of America’s finest died that day; if they aren’t heroes, I don’t know who is.

Chesley Sullenberger is another hero. He was a pilot in the United States Air Force becoming a flight leader and a training officer, and then attained the rank of captain. On January 25,2009, he was the pilot in command of an Airbus 320 traveling from LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The plane hit a large flock of birds, disabling both engines and causing them to burst into flames. At this point, Sullenberger had to make a decision. He knew that he couldn’t make it to the closest airport, and decided to make the choice to land the plane in the Hudson River. His adept decision saved the lives of all 155 passengers on the plane that day.

Every day something heroic happens, no matter how big or small. To one person, it may not be important, but to another, turning in that lost wallet may be as monumental as rescuing them from a burning building. Instead of the criminals, we should show the every day heroes on television to show the world that America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.”