Benson High School senior Noah Porter took first place locally and in District 7, placing fourth in the state in the Voice of Democracy essay contest. Theme for 2012-213 was “Is our Constitution still relevant?”
Porter was presented with a certificate and check from local Post 6271 commander and its Ladies Auxiliary, along with checks and a Voice of Democracy medal and plaque from the District 7 commander and Ladies Auxiliary at a Jan. 19 VFW-sponsored breakfast held in his honor.
“We are very proud of Noah for being our winner and would like to thank his family, Michael and Catherine Porter for their support of Noah,” said Conny DeSpain, the local post’s Voice of Democracy chair. “Last but not least, Noah’s teacher from Benson High School, Marv Sorensen, for making this a class project and supporting Noah. We also thank the VFW Men’s Auxiliary for cooking the breakfast.”
Here's his winning essay:
Is our Constitution still relevant?
By Noah Porter
Any child can tell you what it is like to not have a say in the rules that govern you. As adults we create rules for children, because they don’t know any better, and they lack the experience and wisdom we believe they need to function in society. As a society, we recognize that adults possess the wisdom required to adjudicate themselves, yet for millennia we, as adults, were not free adjudicate ourselves, rather, we were subject to the impulses of tyrants who claimed birth right and enlightenment.
The decision of our nation to throw out the Articles of Confederation, and compromise on the Virginia Plan, in order to adopt the current Constitution of the United States, was the turning point which allowed our nation to prosper, despite two global conflicts and a civil war. This prosperity is due almost entirely to the flexibility of, and the ability to revise, the Constitution to address changing times. This salient document is often referred to as a living document because of its nature as a flexibly structured scaffolding for a functional government, however, having established its nature, it must also be noted that these features allow the document to be either progressive or regressive, established only by how the people choose to refashion the document through amendments.
One definition of the word constitution is the physical make-up and health of something, which would be an accurate parallel of the document which defines our nation. Taking this definition into consideration, it becomes readily apparent how the Constitution of our nation is still relevant, as its current composition is a direct reflection of the state of our nation, both in function of government, and of the investment of the population in the nation’s continued health and prosperity. The governed, therefore, have control over the fate of the nation, and, should they choose to create a progressive document to address contemporary issues, they may further remove themselves from eidola of the era of the Articles of Confederation, and the days of a failing America. The Constitution was never meant to be a static and unchanging document, and until such time as the American people decide that it is not the document they wish to live by, it will continue to stay relevant, not only to the lives of everyone in the nation, but to those who may wish to follow in the footsteps of a great nation.