Trey McMillin, 8th Grader at Buddy Taylor, Wins 1st Place in Statewide Essay Contest on Americanism
FlaglerLive | May 24, 2012
The annual Flagler County talent show is scheduled for this evening (May 24) at the Flagler Auditorium. But some of Flagler’s very best talent won’t be on that stage.
Come this Memorial Day weekend, Trey McMillin, a 13-year-old 8th grader at Buddy Taylor Middle School, is going to Disney. To the Coronado Spring Resort, to be precise. He may get to play at the theme parts. But he also has a brief, but very big job to do. He’ll be standing on a stage in front of some 2,000 Elks at the 106th annual convention of the Florida State Elks Association. And he’ll be reading them an essay–his essay–on Americanism.
Because he entered an Elks essay contest, won it in Flagler County, and went on to be the first student from Flagler to win first place in the state as well. He’s qualified for the national contest. Should he win that one, he may get to go to the Elks’ national convention in Austin in July.
“Trey’s teacher used this as an assignment and then submitted the essays to the Elks Lodge,” his mother, Vanessa James, a Palm Coast Realtor with Trademark Realty Group (she signs her emails “One Proud Mom!”) said. His father, Rick Blaine, is a Flagler County Sheriff’s Deputy and a bailiff for Flagler County Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano. It’s not clear yet if McMillin will get to read his essay to Zambrano who, like most immigrants, has a soft spot for Americanism.
Trey has a sister at Buddye Taylor, 7th grader Lexi McMillin. The family has been in Palm Coast since 2003.
The original essay appears below, just as it was submitted to the Elks.
Trey McMillin on the Pledge
“One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.” These are the powerful words in which our Pledge of Allegiance ends. These words are proudly recited throughout our country every day, for the brave men and women who fight for our country every day, and for the nation that fought for independence for years of agony and despair, but with an ending like no other.
The bravery of a man is not measured by the actions he performs, but by the reasons he has for doing them. Anyone could go into battle and fire a weapon, but is it because they feel they have to, or is it because they have the right purpose and the ambition to do so? A real soldier fights for America because of the family and friends he has at home, for the country who grants them freedom, and for the millions of people counting on them to keep them safe.
I pledge allegiance not only for the people who fight for our country, but for everyone who fought to gain independence from Britain. Thousands of men and women gave their lives for their country, and we pledge to honor those peopled. Those people who fought selflessly for thousands of people they didn’t know, all for one cause; freedom.
Our pledge is not only a symbol of our country; it is for the hardships it has faced to get where we are today: a country of peace, hope, and freedom for all citizens.