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May 29, 2018



Kaylee Conner, a fifth grader at Acton Elementary School, was pronounced the winner of a Memorial Day essay contest during a community celebration on May 28, 2018.


The contest was initiated by J.C. Campbell, a veteran and community leader who felt it was important for students to commemorate armed services personnel who have died in service to the nation.


The program objective for the fifth grade competition states, “Many students think Memorial Day is simply a day to ‘celebrate’ a day off from school.  They don’t realize it is instead a day to ‘commemorate’ or remember those who have lost their lives in all American Wars.  The objective of this contest is to help students understand the true meaning of this day.”


The text of Conner’s essay entitled “What Memorial Day Means to Me” was:


For the people that don't know the true meaning Memorial Day, it is a day of remembering the men and women who died in the United States Armed Forces. In a quote by John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961, he stated, "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." This quote explains why many soldiers choose and have chosen to serve our country.


Memorial Day once had a different name, Decoration Day, and it started after the Civil War. It was called that because soldiers would decorate graves of their fallen comrades with flowers, flags and wreaths.The holiday was legally named Memorial Day in 1967, by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. We celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May each year.


On Memorial Day, people all over the USA bow their heads and take a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. There is actually a law that was passed in December 2000, as we stand with our hats off, we remember all of the hundreds of thousands soldiers that used their only life to protect and fight for our freedom. Even though this law was passed, it seems as though many don't recognize it and are too busy enjoying their time off just having a barbeque or simply having a day off from school or work. We should all take time out on this day to remember our fallen soldiers.


In Granbury, Texas, we put on a parade, and we remember all of the soldiers that were in the American wars. A traditional Memorial Day ceremony will be held to remember all of the heroes lost and honor those who are still with us. We also have a field of flags with each flag dedicated to a hero or group who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. When my family and I drive by the field of flags it makes me remember what the soldiers did for our country and makes me so grateful for what they have done.


Memorial Day to me, reminds me of how much freedom we have today but didn't have years ago. It is also a reminder that freedom is never free, and our soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice. On this coming Memorial Day, I will remember everything the soldiers did for my country and me.


Conners was one of five Granbury ISD campus winners vying for the top prize.  Others were:  Faith Fry, Acton Elementary School; Mary Coonce, Baccus Elementary School, Sergio Sanchez, Brawner Intermediate School; Carter Mager, Mambrino School.


The contest followed state curriculum guidelines regarding fifth grade citizenship, which specifies that students understand “important symbols, customs, celebrations, and landmarks that represent American beliefs and principles and contribute to our national identity” and “describe the origins and significance of national celebrations such as Memorial Day.”