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C A N A D I A N November 2012


ELECTRALITE What does the American flag mean to me?


More than 200 8th graders and senior high school students submitted essays this year answering “What does the American flag mean to me?” The two winners were awarded $500 U.S. Savings Bonds. The contest is in conjunction with the annual

ceremony for the distinguished disposal of Old Glory held outside of Canadian Valley Electric Coopera- tive’s headquarters. It is hosted by American Legion posts from several counties and the cooperative. The essay winners were invited to read their heartfelt es- says at this year’s October 8 ceremony.

Marielle Buttram is an 8th grader at South Rock Creek School and the daughter of Jay and May But- tram.

“As long as I live, I will never forget that day twenty-one years when I raised my hand and took the

oath of citizenship. Do you know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with an American flag around my shoulders all day long.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger. Many people take our country’s flag for granted and they don’t realize what it symbolizes to others, including those from foreign countries. My Mom, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, came from another country. A couple years after she came here, she took the oath of citizen- ship. Becoming an American Citizen changed her life. I remember how proud she was the day she was announced a citizen. Whenever I see the flag, I recognize the blood lost in battle and the freedom given to us because of the final sacrifices soldiers made. I tend to take our country’s flag for granted. I don’t think enough about it symbolizing the freedom we are given. At times I don’t stop to think about how people from other countries wish to be an American Citizen, just so they can have the freedoms that our country has to offer them. To me, the flag reminds me of our freedom of religion and the ability to express myself. I started to realize how much I take things for granted when my eighth-grade reading class read the book The Children’s Story by James Clavell. The story talked about how our country had been taken over and slowly, the new teachers were taking away everyone’s free- doms and changing their thoughts. To think our minds can be changed so easily makes me

Buttram continued on page 4

Clark Hunter is a senior at Stroud High School and the son of Stephen and Teresa Hunter of Depew.

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” — John F. Kennedy The American flag is a symbol of the freedom we have as Americans and our undying persever- ance; always looking ahead to keep our country free and safe. Freedom

involves personal

sacrifice on a daily basis; I personally have been affected by these sacrifices due to both of my parents serving in the armed forces. Revolutionary War era, Civil War era, even

present day, Americans have been forced to pay a steep price to keep our freedom alive. Through all the trials and blood shed we’ve faced, surrender has never been an option. Freedom of religion; the issue of religious freedom primarily ignited the want of freedom in the New World colo- nists. Americans grew tired of being under the rule of a tyrannical king that lived so far away; having no say, or no rights to worship or live as they pleased; which soon started a revolution, the Revolutionary War. Tens of thousands of lives were lost, thousands of families ripped apart, but the struggles that faced Americans only made us want our freedom that much more. America never gave up, surrender was never an option. The strength and perseverance of our ancestors won us our freedom that we still proudly have today. Through all of these struggles, the American flag waved as a symbol of our new-found freedom.

Hunter continued on page 3


E Y The power of human connections By George A government of the people, by the

people and for the people can do many good things for the people. Few of us question the need for a strong government in pro- viding a structure for a civil society. Most would acknowledge the need for government in providing for the national defense of our way of life. Few roads and bridges would be built without a functioning government structure. Interstate 40 did not just happen. Schools, open and available to all come from the government structure we the people through our elected representatives said we want.

I have often, in a half kidding way, said to some of my friends who have acquired significant land holdings, that the right to own property is a right to the individual granted by the majority. And when it becomes the minority actually owns all the property, we the majority may reconsider continuing that right which is provided through our government structure. The availability of healthy foods and medicines are accomplished through a civil governing structure. Assuring a minimum safety net for humanbeings who for causes beyond, or even of their own doing, need help to sur- vive and live. I believe this is a legitimate function of the government of a civil society. As you can see the power and ability of government to provide the needs and wants of its subjects is almost limitless. But as we slide down that path, we move from having a government by and for the people to the people being “subjects” of the government. There may even be some limit to exactly what the government can pay for as it decides what it needs to do and control for us. A very successful Oklahoma politician in his campaign often repeated the phrase, “Any government that can give you every- thing you want is the same government that can take everything you have.” Before we go too far down this road let me assure that that I am not one that believes that govern- ment should stay out of all social programs and just let the strong survive. However, as citizen subjects of our government it is our responsibility that we require our govern- ment be a servant of the people and not a ruler of the people. We must be ever vigi- lant or we will let the little foxes spoil the vine.

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