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December 4, 2022

Guest view: ‘Let Freedom Ring’

Winners announced in Freedom Fest student essay contest

The theme for this year’s Morgan Hill Freedom Fest Independence Day festivities is “Let Freedom Ring,” and local students were asked to write about what that phrase means to them for the celebration’s annual essay contest. Participating students in two divisions—primary (grades 2 and3) and intermediate (grades 4 and 5) were asked to submit their entries online to BookSmart in April. Contest organizer Karen Ann Crane, who has also led the Freedom Fest’s annual Patriotic Sing for 34 years, announced three winners in each division this week. Prizes include cash, shirts, trophies and a ride in Freedom Fest’s Fourth of July parade on an antique fire engine. The essay contest is sponsored by the Morgan Hill Kiwanis Club. 

The grand prize winning essays from each division are printed below. To see the full list of winners, and read their essays, visit

Freedom to make choices

Can you imagine living in a place where there is no freedom? America is a place where we are free to make our own choices.
In America, we can travel where we want. We have a choice where we want to go.
We are free to choose what to wear each day. In one place, girls and women wear a black covering over their whole body.
In our country people can live anywhere. We are free to move where we want.
I hope that all people can be free to choose where and how to live. That’s what “Let Freedom Ring” means to me. How about you? 

Elizabeth Hair, 3rd grade, El Toro Health Science Academy

Grand Prize winner, primary division

All people should be free

When I hear the phrase “Let Freedom Ring,” I think about how everyone should have freedom to say what they think is right and voice their opinions.  And, just because people have different opinions and different skin colors, or nationality, doesn’t mean they’re different, they’re still humans and they all have feelings.
In some other countries, people don’t have the freedom to voice their opinion, they have to obey their government, but in the United States we have freedom but we still have laws. We are very fortunate to have freedom and have happiness. We should be grateful and not take it for granted.
Next, our military protects us from enemies trying to take our freedom away. Imagine having an opinion on a subject but not being able to voice it. Also, in other countries people judge you because of your skin color and they say, “You can’t do this because of your skin color.”
Some countries don’t allow women to vote. The reason is because they are women. I don’t think it’s right that they don’t get to vote just because of their gender. Also, people shouldn’t judge people before getting to know them.
Finally, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that all people should have freedom of speech and that “If one African American is not free, then no African Americans are truly free.”
After all of those opinions of mine, that’s what I think “Let Freedom Ring” means.

Jagger Benyamin, 5th grade, El Toro Health Science Academy

Grand Prize winner, intermediate division

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