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ELECTRALITE What does the flag mean to me?


More than 100 area students submitted essays for this year’s contest held in conjunction with the distinguished flag ceremony sponsored by Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative and area veterans’ organizations. The essays are judged by professors at Seminole State College and one from high school and one from junior high school is chosen. Each is awarded a $500 U.S. Savings Bond.

Nira Herrod is a 10th grader at New Lima High School. “Never forgotten: Forever grateful.” My mother told me that when my grandpa died, fighting for us in the Vietnam War. I remember when she used to tell me stories. It was the first time he came back. One of his stories, I still remember was about the American Flag. When he first left, he took an American Flag, and it was so old that mother always asked him to get a new one, but he always said “No, my daddy gave this to me.”

It had holes, rips and tears. It was dirty and the stars looked liked dots, but he did not care. To him it was patriotism, courage and re- spect. When he died, he had that old dirty flag still in his pocket. My grandpa also had a love for the importance of the design of the flag. He told me the red represented all those who had died for us, the white represents innocence and purity and the blue stands for those who stayed true to our country. The stars stood for the fifty states and the stripes stood for the thirteen colonies. For almost all Americans red, white and blue are not just primary colors. When they are brought together, they represent patriotism, love for our country, and illustrate one of the sacred living symbols in the U.S., the American Flag. The flag has become more than a piece of cloth that waves all across America. It is a meaningful symbol that should be treated with dignity, respect, and gratitude. That symbol of dignity, respect and gratitude was that for people during the 9-11 crisis. My grandpa was not alive for that, but if he was, he would have helped in any way possible. After 9-11, we as Americans could have just hung our heads and given up, but we did not, we as a nation united and that flag reminded us of the unity in which we all share. The flag still flies high and proud, like that piece of cloth, because we are courageous, like that American Flag. I will continue to remember the fallen, my grandpa and all others who served and died with respect.

All in all, I would like to say, I had never before seen the flag for what it truly is, but now I do. It stands for patriotism, respect and courage. That is why we recite the Pledge of Alle- giance, with our hands over our hearts and looking at the American Flag. This nation, I think, came together after 9-11, as these people of this nation. We not only have courage, but heart which shows every time the flag is flown.

Heather Nutter, 12, is a student at Meeker Middle School. The American Flag means many things to many people, but to me it makes me feel many different things.

The most important thing that the flag makes me think of is my

family. We always watch the fireworks together on the 4th of July. Tyler and Thomas have always loved the “Firework Flag.” When it explodes in the sky, Tyler and Thomas’ faces light up and stare at the space where it exploded long after it has disappeared. We always eat the traditional hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner and have sweet watermelon for dessert. My family means a lot to me and I love to see them happy and that’s what the flag makes me think of first.

Another thing the flag makes me think of is the stars. When I watched the stars with my papa they looked like little, tiny, beautiful lights from the heaven. The stars on the flag remind me that my life isn’t a dream, but everything that has happened is real. I love the starry sky and that’s another thing the flag makes me think of.

The final most important thing that the flag makes me feel is proud. I am proud that every- one works together when worse turns to worst. People care for each other and won’t admit defeat when we have been beaten down time and time again. The American Flag makes me proud to be an American.

The power of human connections By George A large new oil pipeline is planned to

deliver oil from Canada and the northern U.S. to Cushing and on to the refineries along the Gulf coast. The project is behind the original schedule due to regulatory delay. This pipeline will provide a new and more secure source for imported oil to our nation. Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative has been chosen to supply electric power to one of the large pumping stations. This project will provide economic advantages for the area and our custom- ers. I was asked to make a statement at the Interest Determination Hearing held by the Department of State concerning this pro- posed pipeline project. The following is that statement. “My name is George E. Hand. I am

the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative. I have served in this capacity for 26 years beginning in February 1985. I have been involved in the management of electric cooperatives in Oklahoma for 40 years beginning in 1971. I was born in eastern Oklahoma. To date I have lived my entire life in Oklahoma and plan to continue my working career here and retire in east- ern Oklahoma. My cooperative, Canadian Valley Electric, serves more than 24,000 primarily rural residential consumers in a 10 county area located in the east central part of Oklahoma. This service area includes Seminole County through which this pro- posed Keystone XL pipeline will pass. Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative will provide electric power and energy to one of the pumping stations along this pipeline. I am here today to speak in support of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline project. The Keystone Pipeline project will pass

through eastern Seminole County with a large pump station to be located a few miles outside the small community of Cromwell. I want to emphasis the economic impact, both short and long term, which this project will have on this part of Seminole County and the people who live there. The economy and population of Cromwell, like much of rural Seminole County has declined greatly since its hay days during the oil boom of the early last century. Today the economic base of the area is primarily ranching and haying operations with some remnants left

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