O’Hara Catholic School sixth grader Joshua Jesiah earned second place in the essay contest from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Springfield.

Below is an excerpt from his essay entitled “What is Patriotism To Me”:

“Patriotism to me means being proud to be an ‘American’, even if you come from a different background. It is being proud of my country regardless of its shortcomings and working together to make our country better for everyone. Anyone can show patriotism. You don't have to be a hero to have it.”