Essay Awards

11 Knoxville fifth graders were honored for their essays about the American flag. Pictured from left to right, back row: Commander Curt Froyen, American Legion member Conrad Nelson, Benjamin Neers, Brooklyn Davis, Jade Basco, Ayla Williams, Nicole Wales representing son Landen Lee, Brylee Woolsey, Payton Myers and American Legion members Jim Brees and Jack Spaur. Front row, left to right: Abigail Vander Linden, Kadince Wells, Kaylynne Anderson and Hunter Lund.

Eleven Knoxville fifth graders were recognized for their outstanding essays submitted through an American Legion essay contest on Jan. 8.

Each student wrote an essay answering the question “What the American flag means to me.” Those who were recognized received a framed letter from the American Legion Baty-Tucker Post, a U.S. flag and uncirculated Maryland state quarters commemorating the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Awards were presented by members of the American Legion Baty-Tucker Post 168.

“It was a great pleasure for us to read your essays,” Post Commander Curt Froyen said to the students.

The students who were recognized included Kaylynne Anderson, Jade Basco, Brooklyn Davis, Landen Lee, Hunter Lund, Payton Myers, Benjamin Neer, Abigail Vander Linden, Kadince Wells, Ayla Williams and Brylee Woolsey.

Many of the students wrote about having family members who had served in the military.

Williams’ essay read, “When I look at the flag, it reminds me how lucky I am to be an American. It also shows me how we are all united no matter what happens to us. I also think of my family, because both of my great-grandpas fought in the military.”

Other students explained what the flag represents and symbolizes to American citizens.

Davis wrote, “The reason the flag is important to me is because of the things it represents. Our flag represents the people who fight for America, our freedom and how strong America is.”

The purpose of the essay contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the United State flag on the part of elementary students. It is a statewide contest sponsored by the Iowa American Legion, with winners being selected at the local level.

Emma Skahill can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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