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.
Congratulations to Trey!! His parents and school must be very proud of such a talented writer. It is always so inspiring to read about the wonderful things our young people are doing…
However, I must say, I am disappointed in FlagerLive readers…. no comment so far…… I guess being good at writing is not worth very much to Flagler county citizens…. the “bad” actions seem to get a lot more notice than the “good” actions…… such a shame!
One Proud Mom! says
Thank you, Nancy! Trey is my son and yes, we are very proud of him and looking forward to this weekend! I wish him luck on the nationwide contest! Great job, Trey! We love you!
Good Job Trey!
Keep with it, your writing is important and a clear way to get your ideas and opinions across to those that don’t know you yet!
Congratulations, Trey! Job well done. Thank you for representing your school and community in such a positive manner. You make Flagler County proud! Good luck in Orlando!
Mitzi Gee says
Wonderful! Congratulations – amazing essay, very succinct and very moving. So proud of you – thank you for representing Flagler County so well, and thank you for your love of our great nation. :)
Go Trey! This is somthing you can be very proud of, as I am proud for you. I really admire your writing/communication skills b/c mine were not nearly as polished as yours are at your age, congrats to you and your proud mommy!!
Congrats Trey! We are proud of you. Have a great time at Disney.
Fantastic! Great job, Trey. You are a fine representative of our younger generation.
Applause, Kudos, Hooray for Trey!
Monster Family says
Awesome Trey! I love your essay!
Good job Trey!
Jackie Mulligan says
A very special young man.
What a fine job he has done representing his generation.
With young people like him , we can breath easy, the future is in good hands.
His family must be commended too for raising such a fine young man…
Kudos to all.
Congratulations to you Trey; you make me realize there really still is hope for America. Unfortunately Nancy, this is a predominantly liberal publication, and Trey’s vision of America is not exactly in line with the left’s. I don’t know how else to explain the lack of comment from the usual Flagler Live posters. Too bad they can’t even overlook their own differences in opinion and congratulate this young man for standing out.
One Proud Mom! says
Thank you to everyone for all of your nice comments! Trey did great this past weekend and we all had a really great time at the parks and hotel. A special thank you to the Elks for choosing Trey’s essay!
Brad West says
Great job, Trey! That’s awesome.
@Outsider. I am sorry to read your politicking comment. Regarding FlaglerLive, liberal or not to your eyes, was the only local site where I read about Trey’s success, so far. Hooray to Trey, again and Congratulations to Proud Mom.
I have no problem with Flagler Live, Palm Coaster. And kudos to you and Nancy as the only regulars who congratulated Trey. Nancy was disappointed there were no comments to that point and I was simply offering an explanation as to why there were few others commending this young man.