Chester High School senior Melissa Crosby has won the VFW Voice of Democracy contest for the second year in a row.
Crosby, who is a member of the National Honor Society at CHS, will attend an award banquet at the Coulterville VFW on Dec. 2. She is the daughter of Steve and Jill Asbury, of Chester, and her essay is included as follows:
"American History: Our Hope for the Future"
As a future elementary teacher, I am reminded of the quote by Charles Hamilton Houston, who was a prominent African-American lawyer.
He was well known for having trained and mentored many up and coming black attorneys including Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court's first African-American justice.
Houston often stated, "Without education, there is no hope for our people and without hope, our future is lost."
So our hope for the future of America is dependent upon education. My dream of becoming a first grade teacher comes with the responsibility to educate my future students, just as Houston did, with the knowledge that they will need so that they can become productive and contributing members to our great society.
Just as I have been dependent upon all of my teachers, both past and present, to provide me with the knowledge and wisdom that I need to make good decisions in order to become a model citizen, I too will have to mirror the positive influences in my life onto my students.
It is essential that my students be taught to respect their country and to show respect and honor to those who have selflessly sacrificed their lives for our freedom and liberties.
My students shall honor and respect their parents and elders, as they have demonstrated the wisdom and leadership to faithfully put them on the right path.
My students will need to be shown how to respect their community and also themselves so that they can positively impact future generations in order to make our society and our nation a better place for the future.
Zig Ziglar, one of America's finest motivational speakers and authors, said it best when he stated, "Our children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future."
It takes all of us working together in an educated and organized manner to make our society and our future a better place.
When we take the time to lead by example, listen to the needs of others and make respectful decisions which focus on what is best for our society, we become our hope for the future.
Each life we touch through our kind words and acts impact all people, both young and old. We should all be equally valued and considered vital for the success and the future of our great nation.
Together we are our hope for the future. Both young and old can learn from each other; how to work, how to play, how to love, cherish, honor and respect themselves as well as all others.
It is a time to come together to teach and learn to ensure our hope for the future for generations to come.
May our grandchildren and their children learn from each other and teach their future generation as we have.
I would like to close with one final, inspirational and thought provoking quote by John F. Kennedy, our 35th U.S. President and U.S. Navy hero.
Kennedy, who also received the Navy Marine Corps Medal for heroism and the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during World War II, stated publically, "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future."
In American history and in the history throughout the world, our hope for the future is in our children. May we teach by example what they need to know so that they will make the future even brighter than what we have today.