The City of Fontana asked Fontana students: “What does Veterans Day mean to you?”

Students responded with essays on this theme, and the following are the three winning essays in the Dr. Charles Koehler Veterans Day Writing Contest (the winners all received prizes from Fontana City Councilmember Jesse Sandoval):

----- By QUENTIN BRYANT

Veterans Day, one of the most important U.S. holidays, will always have a special place in my heart. It means the recognition of my family's legacy.

There are more than five generations of veterans in my family and they all show pride of being in the Special Forces. They take pride in wearing their uniform, protecting our country, and giving every citizen the freedom they deserve. For these reasons, I give every veteran the utmost respect and gratitude.

One of the soldiers I give the highest respect to is my grandfather, who was a member of the first contingency of African American Marines. My grandfather, Lucius Bryant, served in the Marines in the 1940s. He received a Congressional Gold Medal for his service in the Marines on Sept. 12, 2012. He is an inspiration to anyone who has ever been discouraged or has wanted to give up. Although he faced discrimination, he remained a proud Marine. My grandfather faced so much, fighting for our country, and has even opened up opportunities for other minorities in the military.

My family history of military service makes me proud to be an American and is the reason why I respect and applaud every veteran that has served, is serving, and ever will serve in our armed forces. In the words of my grandfather, "Hoorah!"

----- By MAXIMOS CRECELIUS

What Veterans Day means to me is that I can honor people that used to serve in the military.

I know the pain that the veterans have gone through, so I think that Veterans Day is a way to thank the people that used to serve our beloved country. It means so much to me that Veterans Day exists because sometimes people have put their lives on the line to protect the current population of the United States.

I am also happy that people can honor their loved ones that are still serving in the military. I can also respect that it can celebrate the lives of those who have passed. It is also a festivity that people can take part of, to honor those who have served. It is nice to know that certain people care about those who served and when Veterans Day comes they will honor those who protect them.

I can also respect the branches of the military, including the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Army, and National Guard.

It is very reassuring that every night I am protected by all of them who are trying to protect us in this country.

----- By PEARL MALDONADO

First, Veterans Day is the day we celebrate those who have served our country. They risked their lives for this country. They had to leave their families just to protect us from danger. So, we shall thank them very much for what they have done for us. We should all be thankful and grateful to have them serving us.

Second, I think Veterans Day is very important. I think we need to celebrate those who are still in the military fighting for us. We cannot forget those who have been in the military fighting. I also think we need to appreciate them. Without them we wouldn't be living this life we are living.

But most importantly, they don't have to do this, but they love this country very much. So, we shouldn't be too greedy and think that nothing is going to happen to us. Maybe one day, something horribly bad will happen to us and we will not be protected.

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