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Annual DAR writing competition winners

Annual DAR writing competition winnersAvoca Class of 2022 Valedictorian Riley Stowe and 5th grader Kendal Nadjadi were recently honored by the Kanestio Valley chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter. Both students won awards for essays submitted to the chapter’s annual competition.


Nadjadi was recognized for her entry on the topic of "What the flag means to you." She will read her award winning essay at the Avoca Memorial Day parade. 


Stowe was awarded the Good Citizen Award for showing outstanding citizenship throughout her years at school. Her essay has been sent to the state DAR to be judged in the next level of competition. 


Below are their award-winning submissions:

What the flag means to me

by Kendal Nadjadi

The flag can represent many different things. To me the flag of America represents sacrifice, freedom, and respect.

The first thing the flag represents to me is sacrifice. The American Flag is a very important part of my life. It reminds me of my family that risked their lives to fight for our freedom. My father, my Uncle Scott, and my Uncle Brent were in the army and they sacrificed a lot for us to have the freedom that we do. My Uncle Brent lost his legs in the military. That’s the reason I think the flag represents sacrifice.

In addition, the flag stands for freedom because, in America we have many rights such as the freedom of speech, the right for women to vote, and the right for women to go to school and get an education. Our freedom makes the world a better place, so people aren’t being punished for saying something or doing something against their government. A lot of Americans would be way more grateful for our freedom if they lived in Burma, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, and Libya. In these countries freedom of speech is very restricted. They could go to jail for speaking their opinion against the government. I am very grateful for our freedom. That is another thing the flag means to me.

Most importantly I feel the flag stands for respect because, when we say the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning we are respecting and honoring the people that served our country.  We are also respecting those who died   fighting for all that we have. I have great respect for those who are fighting for our home. I am proud to be a respectful and grateful American.

For all of these reasons I’ve given I believe the flag stands for sacrifice, freedom, and respect. Therefore, when you say the Pledge of Allegiance I hope you take time to think about what I wrote in this essay and take respecting and honoring America a little more seriously. 

Good Citizen Award

by Riley Stowe 

Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It

“How do the qualities of a good citizen (dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism) help support our nation?”


Since its birth, the United States of America has progressed rapidly and become the most powerful nation in the world. This wouldn’t have been possible without the people of the nation stepping up and molding it this way. They did this through embodying the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. Each of these qualities is essential for each citizen to have in order to uphold the ideals that are the foundation of the country. 


Dependability is a crucial quality that’s helped support and mold our nation into what it is today. Being dependable can be as simple as showing up on time for a friend’s birthday party or as serious as showing up to fight in a battle to protect the country. While we as citizens obviously depend on our armed forces to defend us from possible threats, our military also depends on us to do our part. Showing constant loyalty, support, and love for our men and women in uniform can have an enormous impact on the morale of the country. The ways to do this would show one’s willingness to provide service. 


Service is another important quality that many citizens of America possess. The biggest service one could provide for the betterment of our nation would be joining the military. However, regular citizens can provide their service to them as well, whether it be by sending care packages to troops, donating to local V.A. hospitals, or other gracious acts. Those who are willing to step up and do any of these actions must also be leaders. 


Leadership can be found in all forms from all different ages and it’s a defining quality that has helped our country develop. Whether one’s a team captain of their high school team, the manager of their store, or the president of the country, they are all leaders. Every single person who has been willing to step into a leadership position has helped our country grow. Each trial and tribulation that they have put on their shoulders and been forced to make a decision about has taught us something, whether it was through learning from their mistakes or successes. This includes those in both military and government leadership positions. It’s important that any decision made, however, is made with the ideal of patriotism in mind.


Patriotism is the single most important quality that really causes our country to stand out amongst other competing nations. The devotion and love for our country by the citizens can truly be amazing. There are obvious moments that have brought the country closer, such as the 9/11 attacks, but it doesn’t take a traumatic event to feel this sense of patriotism. Citizens waking up everyday and feeling a sense of pride is what has kept the country and those in uniform running. Overall, that’s how having the qualities of good citizens has helped support our nation. 


Thus, it’s obvious that dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism are very significant qualities of American citizens. If a majority of citizens didn’t possess these qualities and display them on a daily basis, the country would be weak and vulnerable. That’s not the case, however. The numerous citizens who embody these qualities have molded our country, including our military, into the powerhouse that is today and will continue to be.