Essayist shares what patriotism means to her

Monday morning, a 12-year-old Lincoln Middle School student shared what patriotism means to her before a group of veterans and residents assembled to pay their respects on Memorial Day.

The essay Madelyn Thomas wrote resonated with judges, earning first place in state and district contests and placing 11th nationally. For Thomas, finding out the essay was so well-regarded was a surprise.

"It was kind of shocking," she recalls.

Her grandfather texted her while she was in class with the news.

The Thomas family are no strangers to the contest, which is hosted by the VFW, with each post hosting th...


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