Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, July 04, 2008

Stacha Hof’s winning essay on symbolism of July 4th fireworks

With the permission of the Norwood Fireworks Committee, we are publishing Norwood High School sophomore Stacha Hof’s inspiring essay, “What do the fireworks sympolize on the 4th of July?” What follows will appear in the program for tonight’s fireworks event:

During the school year, Norwood High School’s ninth through twelfth graders were invited to write an essay on the subject of “What do the fireworks symbolize on the 4th of July?”. We received many wonderful entries, however one of the entries captured the essence of the subject and the thoughts of a young adult regarding patriotism.

It was a tough decision to choose the winner!
Our Essay Contest Winner is: Stacha Hof!!!!
Our runner-up was: Sarah Watson

Below is Stacha’s winning essay. I hope you appreciate her words as much as we did! Congratulations to Stacha and Sarah! Thanks to all the students who participated!

Stacha Hof's essay:
Every year on July 4th, fireworks illuminate the sky all across the country in celebration of our freedom, the anniversary of when our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

I think that the fireworks represent the pride Americans feel, the patriotism in our hearts and minds, and the overall joy we experience when we remember those who have died, from the Revolutionary War to the War in Iraq today, in the name of freedom and for the sakes of all Americans.

Each year as the fireworks launch into the night sky, we pay tribute to the men and women who have given everything to preserve the life that we have become accustomed to, and often take for granted. I myself can’t help but feel a surge of pride each year as I watch the show with my family. A good number of people in my family have served in the armed forces, including my brother. He returned from his second stay in Iraq just last year, and sometimes on Independence Day I’ll catch him staring off into space. I know what he’s thinking about, and I hug him for it.

To me, the fireworks arrive with mixed feelings, and usually all in a rush. I’m proud to be an American, grateful that I live here and can watch the fireworks in the first place without fear. I’m sad for those who died, and grateful to them, too. I’m proud of my brother, of my father, and of my grandfather. Mostly though, to me, the fireworks fill me with hope, and I believe that is what they mainly symbolize.

Our founding fathers hoped and dreamed of a better life in America, and how we celebrate that hope and the steps taken to make that dream into a reality with explosions. of color and light ,and all across the country for a few short hours, Americans have an idea of how the early Americans felt, and we, too, are filled with hope. Without hope, life can seem a pointless and dead-end experience, and that’s why the fireworks are so important.