Anaya Keith is the daughter of Jodi Collier. She is in Mrs. Gheer’s fifth grade class at Moravia Elementary. Anaya received third place in the state of Iowa out of 5,300 entries in the American Legion of Iowa essay contest. The topic was “What the flag means to me.”
Prior to being given this assignment, Anaya saw that the Discovery Channel was airing documentaries on 9/11 and decided to record and watch them during the month of September. When she was given this assignment she knew right away that she wanted to discuss 9/11 in her essay.
Initially, she wanted to include her great-grandfather, Carl F. Dickerson, of Indiana, who was an Army veteran of the Korean War, but since he had recently passed away and couldn’t interview him for stories that would inspire her, she decided to discuss her experience of the day that Master Sgt. Travis Riddick was brought back to his home town in such a way that she will never forget.
Keith will read her essay at the Memorial Day Service in Unionville, Iowa as well as the American Legion of Iowa Department Convention in Coralville in July.
Keith’s essay is below.
What the flag means to me…
By Anaya Keith
The American flag means a lot to me. It means that I have patriotism, and freedom to do what I want. It also gives me a home in this amazing state.
I think everyone should respect the flag as it is the sacred symbol of our country, carried by the soldiers who, ensure that the people of this nation are granted freedom, justice and humanity. I didn’t witness 9/11, but I have watched several hours of film about the day we were attacked. It was evident on that day, America’s patriotism wasn’t divided. Within minutes we stood as one nation, undivided as we recovered from the tragedy.