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Alaina Short with parents Ann and Tom Short


The 2018 Essay  Prompt:

The following are two separate excerpts taken from the contents of a “fireside chat” from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the evening of February 23, 1942, in commemoration of President George Washington’s birthday:

       This generation of Americans has come to realize, with a present and personal realization, that there is something larger and more important than the life of any individual or any individual group – something for which a man will sacrifice, and gladly sacrifice, not only his pleasures, not only his goods, not only his associations with those he loves, but his life itself.  In time of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this nation is, and what we owe to it.

       The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the sacrifice, the more glorious the triumph.  So spoke Americans in the year 1776.  So speak Americans today!


In your essay, address the following:

  1. The men and women of “The Greatest Generation” recognized the validity of President Roosevelt’s words.How do you feel that generation of Americans, both those at home and those serving in the armed forces, rose to meet that challenge?

  2. How are President Roosevelt’s words still relevant today regarding those who choose to serve our country?


Troy Biermann with brother Tyler and mother Cyndy

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