Aubuchon Places Sixth in State for the VOD Speech

Alicia Aubuchon delivering her Voice of Democracy speech during Bismarck’s Veterans Day celebration.

Recently, Alicia Aubuchon competed at the state level for the VFW Voice of Democracy speech.  In order to compete at state, Alicia had to win the local and district contests.  Her essay titled “Why is America Great” speaks solely on how freedom gives us many things we take for granted today.  It is refreshing to see students take a stance on why we enjoy the independence that we have as a society.

Here are Alicia’s feelings about winning in her own words.
“I’m honestly so shocked I won. I have placed many times in the VFW’s art competition but I haven’t ever tried the Voice of Democracy essay contest, mainly because I have never been a strong English student, so there was no way I was going to write an essay and compete. I feel so honored to be the third student in Bismarck history representing Bismarck High School by competing at the state level. Bismarck has and always will be my home, so doing this makes me even prouder to be a Bismarck Indian!”

For her efforts, Alicia will win a monetary award from the VFW at each level.  She finished sixth in the state among a plethora of other high school students who participated.  It is a tremendous honor and she is a tremendous student.  Congratulations Alicia!!  We look forward to see what the future has in store for you!!

A copy of her speech is displayed below.

Why is America Great?

By: Alicia Aubuchon

One simple word, freedom. And all of the people who have helped protect that right. No other country in this world has the freedom like we do. The one thing about freedom is that it isn’t free. A price has been paid for freedom just like for anything else.

For example the grandfather of mine who passed away sixteen years before I was born, fought in World War II and the Korean War. I only knew him because of stories and pictures, but if it wasn’t for the sacrifices he made, I wouldn’t be writing this paper or narrowing down where I want to attend college next fall. The sacrifices of all the brave men and women are the reason we have the freedom to pursue our dreams. A lot of things we do and maybe even take for granted we wouldn’t be able to do if it weren’t for people like him.

In the United States of America, we have the freedom to live our lives how we choose. We have the freedom to have an education, choose the career path in which we follow, raise a family, practice whichever religion our hearts desire, and in the United States of America, we the people have the freedom to be individuals. Individualization gives us the ability and freedom to be one of a kind. We are able to express ourselves through our own personalities.

Realization of freedom is really starting to hit me. Freedom for me now is not only being able to get in my car and drive to meet my friends, but so much more. The first amendment in the Constitution of the United States of America states we the people have the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press. Freedom of expression is something I have really been learning a lot about lately. Throughout these past couple years of high school, I have learned how to stand up for what I believe in and be my own person.

Freedom is what has made these things possible. Within the next year I will be legal voting age which means I have big decisions to make. I have a voice in who makes decisions and runs our country, thanks to one simple word, freedom. Freedom of the press is mentioned in the first amendment. This gives the people freedom to publish their opinions through the media. When deciding next year who I will vote for, freedom of the press will come into play. I will be searching through various media looking for information of the candidates who could possibly be representing our country.

We stand for the national anthem and pledge of allegiance. The interesting thing about that is, you have the freedom not to. America’s freedom is expected to be honored by standing when the national anthem is played or when we say the pledge of allegiance. In America you have the freedom to honor that how you choose. Even though many people, myself included, disagree with this, you have the freedom to express yourself and if that means you don’t stand, kneel, or honor those things the way everyone else does than that is okay. In America you express yourself, because of the freedom we have.

How we celebrate our freedom is incredible. Not just Fourth of July and fireworks but showing pride in what our people have fought so hard to have. We support our military, young and old. And we take care of our fallen. I have never been more proud to be an American than when I watched the changing of the guards in Arlington National Cemetery on the tomb of the unknown soldier, watching a flag get folded and handed to the widow of a fallen soldier, or even watching the boy scout troop my uncle and dad lead decorate graves with flags for memorial day. This is why America is so great, freedom.