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Chokio-Alberta student wins annual Voice of Democracy contest

Brandy Johnson and Voice of Democracy committee member Doug Anderson.1 / 2
Brandy Johnson is this year's winning entry with her Voice of Democracy essay. The Morris VFW Post 5039 and Auxiliary sponsors the Voice of Democracy Program. The essay contest was presented to area senior high students and 11 entries were received from Hancock, Chokio-Alberta, and Herman. Johnson's essay will advance to District competition. She is the daughter of Bruce and Lynn Johnson of Alberta. Pictured are (left to right) Bruce, Lynn, and Brandy Johnson, with the Voice of Democracy committee member...2 / 2

Chokio-Alberta junior Brandy Johnson won the annual Voice of Democracy contest, sponsored by the Morris VFW Post 5039 Auxiliary.

The second place winner was Kammie Beyer, also a Chokio-Alberta junior.

The Voice of Democracy contest is open to all students in Stevens County in grades 9-12. The theme for this years' contest was, "Does My Generation Have a Role in America's Future?"

Brandy Johnson's essay was titled, Generation "Why Not?"

Click on the "Voice of Democracy" link with this story to hear an excerpt of Brandy Johnson reading her essay as part of the Veterans Day program at the West Wind Village in Morris.

Below is the text of her winning essay:

Does my generation have a role in America's future? My generation does have a role in America's future because life is like a game; everyone has a role to play. The only way I could accept the answer "no" to this question would be if I believed that the world will come to an end in 2012 and that our decisions and our lives don't have an affect on the world until we become adults. Since I am a stubborn Generation Y'er, I will tell you that I won't believe the end of the world until I see it.

We also don't have to wait until we're older to have a role in America's future; we need to open our eyes and see that the lives we are living right now are affecting America's future. We do have a say in the future, even if we aren't the ones paying the bills or the ones who can vote. We can still make a difference in the world and the future. My generation, this up-and-coming generation, wants to make a difference in the future, but not in ten years. We want to start now because we are the "why not" generation and we will make an impact in this world.

My generation is already impacting the world. We have taken it upon ourselves to make the planet a better planet by "going green" and recycling, which has made America a better, cleaner country. We also volunteer in our communities even more than the generations before. We do this because we realize that there are many people who are less fortunate than we are; in order to make America a better place we need to help people and make them feel the same way we do about this great country. Many of my generation have already invented items in order to make people's lives easier. We're already starting our own businesses or entering the workforce and helping out companies. There are also bigger decisions, life-changing, military decisions that we are making to impact America.

There are people in my school, even people in my class, who are deciding that the military is right for them. They are training; they are going to serve this country and defend the freedom of the people. Some of those courageous people of my generation will never come back. Their smiles will never grace their faces again and their laughter will no longer be heard. We will cry for them and honor them for all they have done for this country. Just like the generation before, there are heroes in my generation. We will keep fighting for this country and defending our freedom.

We will do great things for this country. We will expand boundaries and break down barriers. We will change things and this country will never be the same. We will forever try to satisfy people and to honor the ones who have fought. I don't want to think that we do not have a role in the future, because we do, and it's a bigger role than anyone can ever imagine because we are faced with the challenge of molding the world into a better place than it already is. Don't doubt us or our strength because we have a role in the future and we will fulfill that role to the best of our abilities. We are not the generation of "why," we are the generation of "why not?!"