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Cadet Keelin Smith Receives Disabled American Veterans Contest Award

On Monday, C/PO1 Keelin Smith was presented with a plaque and $100 cash prize for winning the annual Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Essay contest. Her essay, entitled “A house divided cannot stand” spoke of the need for unity and compassion in our country during unprecedented political divide.
We are GISD Proud of you Keelin!
“A House Divided Cannot Stand”
By Keelin Smith

Abraham Lincoln once said “A house divided cannot stand”, which I highly believe is true. If us Americans would not have come together as a country and president Lincoln not made his momentous speech, we would not be where we are as a country today. Throughout American history we have been divided by economy, politics, social, and cultural issues.

Our immaculate president Lincoln knew nothing could survive without unity, which was why the thirteenth amendment was passed on January 31, 1865. Once the amendment was passed and the House Divided speech was said, this was when America was being shaped into the astounding country that it is today. It was clear that Lincoln's statement in 1858 “A house divided cannot stand”, was also very on point when he stated it, as well as in today's world. Lincoln made this statement on the verge of the Great Civil War and he correctly predicted that if the united states continued to be divided on the issue of slavery, it would be fatal for the country.

Today, this statement continues to apply to many of the world’s problems, both specifically and nonspecifically. Slavery never did any good to any human being, of the majority nor minority. It further divided us as humans and put tags on one another. Times are changing and so are people’s mindsets. It is important to come together not just as family, or friends, or communities, but most importantly as a country. When we come together as a country, we build confidence in each other's distinct abilities, it brings new ideas, and cooperation makes us more efficient in our decisions. Society may say that they want to make a difference, to unite, to come together, but those statements only extend to a certain point if that is not what you follow. Collaboration and partnership help us compromise our conflicts, find creative solutions to tough problems, and wrap our heads around the big picture.

Citizens of this country and other countries need to realize how lucky we are for the freedom and opportunities we have. Perhaps, the best thing that defines America and makes it great are our human rights. The bill of rights is a basic list of rights given to citizens. We can protest against things we disagree with. We can follow our own religions and ideologies. We can meet on our own terms to discuss any topic. Many of the rights in America are not universal, and lots of countries don’t even have access to the basic rights all humans should have. Lucky for us, we live in a country that has such rights. Sometimes politics can take up a majority of our morning, afternoon, and evening conversations, but nevertheless, when someone’s views are displayed, fair debate is always open. We all get a chance to say our views and thoughts. That is what I truly think makes America great, not just because I love debates, I think America is great because of our differences, BUT we shall not be ignorant, nor foolish because of something that someone has no literal control of, and even if we do have control over who we are and who we present ourselves as, we should be compassionate and understanding of one another.

Humanity needs to put an end to judging others such as their race, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, physique, and many more things that introduce problems every day. There will always be conflict... with all of those things... with every country in the world, but as luck would have it, America has come to be more accepting of these opportunities. Our rights, our historical precedents, and the people of this country is what makes America extraordinary, and without a doubt, we are the world's finest country.