Tyler Sando of Grant was the winner of an essay contest sponsored by the Americal Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska.
Sando has just completed eighth grade at Perkins County Middle School in Madrid.
Each year, the American Legion Auxiliary sponsors an Americanism essay contest for students in grades three-12. Grade levels are divided into five classes. One award in each of the five classes was presented in each division. Winners receive $50 and a $50 honorarium in the student’s name is made to the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship fund.
The theme of this year’s essay was “What freedom do I enjoy most?”
Tyler’s essay, which will be entered in the next level of competition, follows:
The freedom I enjoy the most is the thirteenth amendment. What it says is “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
The main reason I enjoy this freedom is because it gave my people rights, it made us equals. This amendment made it possible to let us do as the white men do, be free. It broke the shackles of servitude, and gave us a voice of our own; a voice we can proudly share without being whipped or beaten. It also gave us freedom to share our soul with another and not be lynched. This freedom gave black men our freedom, our voice and our soul back to us.
How I interpret this amendment is that black man or any other man shall never again be put to work they don’t deserve, we shall no longer be held captive and forced to do a lazy man’s work. We are free, but that does not mean we are better. We shall be free unless we commit a crime, then we shall lose our freedom. But it will no longer be involuntary we now have the same rights as everyone else. That is how I interpret this amendment.
More reasons this is my favorite amendment is because it was not just given to us, we earned our freedom. Yes, all men deserve freedom, but when you do not have it you have to fight for it. You never give up until you achieve it. It took many years, but after those many years of fighting and struggling, we earned our freedom. Through pain and anguish we earned our freedom. But we did not do it ourselves, there was the many of those white men risking their lives to help us. African Americans did not get this freedom by ourselves. Without that help from the white men we might not have even received this freedom.
For this freedom I am blessed with, I would like to thank all those men and women before me, both black and white people who fought for my right, who fought for all of our freedom. To all those men and women I thank you for your bravery.