Joseph Hess III (middle) won the Edwardsburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen essay contest as well as the district level. Savannah Dixon was second and Haley Bumgarner third. A total of six Edwardsburg students participated, including Brynn Ritchey (far left), who was awarded a certificate. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

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Hess III wins Patriot’s Pen essay contest

Published 8:07pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Joseph Hess III is not only the local winner of the Patriot’s Pen essay writing contest, but he is also a winner at the district and state levels it was announced at a program honoring the participants this year at the Edwardsburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2284.

Hess, who took first place in both the local and district levels, knows only that he finished in the top five in the state. Hess will not know what place he took in the state competition until Jan. 26 when he attends a banquet in Kalamazoo.

Hess earned an oversized check for $75 for winning the essay contest. Savannah Dixon was second and was awarded a $50 check, while Haley Bumgarner was third and picked up a $25 check from Ladies Auxiliary President Karen Ziervogel.

The national essay contest had a theme this year of “What I would Tell America’s Founding Fathers.” A total of six contestants took part for the Edwardsburg Post, with first, second and third place winners receiving cash awards. The remaining three participants will receive certificates.

Receiving certificates were Emily Turner, Brynn Ritchey and Mallory Sager.

“Thank you so much for participating in this,” Ziervogel said. “It was really tough judging these. You guys did an excellent job.”

Following the program, the participants and their families were treated to homemade pizza, pop and snacks.


What I would tell America’s founding fathers



The United States of America is, in my eyes, the greatest country in the world. If I had the honor of talking to America’s founding fathers there are many things I would tell them. I would thank them for their bravery. I would tell them how we celebrate Independence Day each year on the Fourth of July. I would explain how people from other countries all over the world long to come to the United States, and I would proudly tell them that the constitution still remains the center of our government.

The first thing I would tell them is thank you! The Constitution, that they ratified, was vital to the success of our country. I was surprised of their bravery on signing the constitution, knowing that it was considered an act of treason toward England and if they had been caught, they would have been killed. Today, men and women serve in the United States Armed Forces and fight to protect the freedoms that they fought for and gained in 1776.

I would tell the founding fathers that in honor of their bravery and accomplishments, every year we celebrate the Fourth of July, the day on which they signed the Declaration of Independence and set free from the British’s rule. It is a day of celebration, with parades, picnics and fireworks. People all over the country, recognize and celebrate our freedom on this day.

Another thing I would tell them is that people from around the world come to America in search of the freedoms and rights they stood for. People come for opportunities not available in their homelands. They come to America so that their children can get a good education and experience a better life.

Finally, the Constitution, that they wrote so many years ago, is still the core of our country’s government. Even though we changed the Constitution to make it better fit the needs of our changing society, it is still based on the vision that they had for our country. America remains a democratic society ruled by the people, just as they had envisioned.

I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with our founding fathers. I would thank them for their vision and for fighting for the rights and freedoms we still enjoy today. I would tell them they should be proud of what America has become – the greatest country in the world.

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