Thursday, July 28, 2011

Larry W. Dyer: Essay Winner

"America was a great land when Columbus discovered it; Americans have made of it a great nation.

"The men who founded our government did their work well, and loyal American citizens have preserved and added to what the founders of our government so firmly established. 

"What shall we do about it? Shall we strive to prepare ourselves to meet the duties that will come to us? Will future citizens of America look back upon our deeds and feel that we did our part well?

"These are questions which the boys and girls of today must answer without hesitation or faltering. If the America of the future is to fulfill the dreams of the early patriots, everyone must do his part.

"Brave men and women gave their lives, their fortunes, their all, that we might enjoy the priceless gift of a governement established upon the principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity. If we remember their brave deeds and sacrifices, we will try harder to do our part to preserve all that has been placed in our care.

"A wonderful plan of self-government was not the only thing our forefathers handed down to us. They left us many fine national ideals which every loyal American should strive to uphold; ideals of honest endeavor, of ceaseless industry, of untiring perseverance, of unselfish services to the country they loved and longed to pass on to their descendants, enlarged and enriched.

As Lyman Abbott, a distinguished American author, journalist, and preacher has well said 'A nation is made great not by its fruitful acres, but by the men who cultivate them; not by its great forests, but by the men who use them, not by its mines, but by the men who work in them, not by its railroads, but by the men who build and run them'.

"We honor and love men like Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt because we believe their efforts for the public good were the result of their high ideals of honor and truth, their loyalty to the best interests of the country and their desire to serve their fellowmen." -- Larry W. Dyer

This essay was written by Larry Wayne Dyer, the nephew of my step-mother. It was published in a newspaper in Oklahoma in the early 1950s, as Larry was born in 1935. From the newspaper clipping that my mother saved, I'm able to see that it was published on page 7, but she didn't save the name of the newspaper from the header. 

The Editor's Note explains: "Larry Dyer wrote the second place essay on the subject, 'Our Great American Heritage--Liberty' in the American Legion Auxiliary contest. I'm posting this so members of his extended family can read it. Many of them didn't know Larry very well, as he passed away at the age of 28, in 1964.  

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