Student's winning essay pledges allegiance to Earth

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For over 25 years, the Jamaica (Vt.) Benefit Association has sponsored as essay contest for the graduating class of the Jamaica Elementary School. There has always been a close relationship between the Benefit and the school. The children do not only participate in the contest but come to volunteer once a month at the Senior Luncheon sponsored by the Senior Solutions of Vermont and coordinated and manned by the Benefit.

This year, as in previous years, essays were exceptional for such young children. The subject of the essay was simply "Hands." The winner of this year's contest was so timely and universal the membership felt it should be shared with our fellow Americans.

The essay is by Alice Clark from Jamaica, Vt. She recently turned 12 years old and her family goes back for many generations in Jamaica.

This is her essay.

Putting Our Hands on Our Hearts for Our Earth

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"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all"

We put our hands on our hearts. Our hands are placed on our beating hearts for a reason. The reason we pledge our hearts towards the American flag is because we are grateful for our country. But what if we placed our hands on our hearts and pledged an allegiance towards our Earth that gives us so much?

Our Earth gave us everything we have today, our rolling hills, snowy mountains, trees, animals, water and wind. The Earth guided us to a new level. Everything is unique and beautiful about our Earth. When our hands are placed on our hearts it almost brings an energy towards our hands, like our hearts are sending an energy towards our hands so that they follow that pledge through life. Our American flag is showing that we are a free country and that we appreciate it. An Earth flag would be something people across the world could hang up too. An Earth flag would show we love our Earth and we are thankful for everything she has given us.

We dedicate our hearts, hands and words to our American flag, so I think we should do the same for an Earth flag. The allegiance to the Earth could go something like this: "I pledge allegiance to the Earth, for Mother Nature, the atmosphere, to the blue oceans and emerald trees under the starry night and the protectors of the Earth. We love her creatures and all her beauty, love and compassion for all."

That is when all students, teachers, speakers and people would stand up from their seats, place their hands on their beating hearts of love and pledge their hands and hearts towards the sandy deserts, wildflowers, rolling hills, snowy mountains and star-moon filled sky. Hands are important they show our emotions through them. The Earth needs to be loved and she especially needs the whole world to thank her.


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