Marietta, Georgia
10 August 1986 - 6 October 2006
"Alive In Christ."
{Following is an essay Stephen Johnson wrote
in the 9th grade on the subject of PATRIOTISM.}

Stephen Johnson
9th Lit/Comp

The day was September 11th around nine o'clock in the morning. I was in my first period class and starting to fall asleep. Before I could rest my head on my desk I was suddenly interrupted by the administrator speaking on the intercom. She told us to turn our televisions to CNN. I decided to stay awake and see what the big deal was. My entire class sat in dismay as we watched the terrifying scene unfold. the first World Trade Center was engulfed in flames. At that time no one knew what had happened to cause this massive fire. Then it happened, a plane had just flown right into the second tower. Everyone knew then that this was not an accident. My whole class was in shock and looking like that had just seen a ghost. No one said a word.
This was the day that no one would forget.

Most people believe in their patriotism towards our country.
To me, this has to be one of the greatest laws of life.
I believe if an American does not have patriotism towards our country
they should not be living here.
If you feel good about living here and glad to be an American
you should have patriotism towards your country.
This is the part I don't understand.
Most people flew little flags on their cars and flew American flags at their homes after September 11th to show their patriotism.
I want to know why they didn't fly them before September 11th
to show their pride in their country.
Did we need a major attack on our country to make
Americans show their patriotism?
What really hurt me the most was when they took their flags down
after about a month or two.
Did they forget about the attacks
did they feel like they had shown it for too long?

I believe if you have patriotism towards your country,
you should feel good to fly your flags on your cars every day
to show your love for your country.

Another thing that discouraged me was the protesters
that were against the war in our own country.
I looked at them in disbelief.
They were against the war in Iraq.
I believe they do not have patriotism for our country.
If we do not go to war we could and probably would be attacked again.
Do these people want another attack on their
country where their lives could be at stake?
They should have pride for their country and show that we are not afraid
of Iraq and of Saddam Husseim.

If I was eighteen I would enlist in the Marines
to help prevent our country from being threatened again.
If our country does not take control of the terrorist problems,
it will happen to us again.

I believe patriotism is one of the most important laws of life.
I hope that every American would feel this way.
If our country does not show patriotism for ourselves
then how can we feel good for ourselves?

Patriotism should be at the top of our list on our laws of life.


More at link, a letter he wrote to his family to be read if he didn't come home from Iraq. I found it very moving.