Essays answer the question: “Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?”

Contributed by Morgan Hill children

The theme for the 2023 Freedom Fest is “A Star-Spangled Celebration.” The kids essay contest reflects the theme with the question: “Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?”

Organized by Karen Crane, she encouraged children in the South Valley to answer the question “When you think of our Fourth of July, do you think of our Star-Spangled Banner? Or, do you think of heroes who protect our freedom?

The Kiwanis Club of Morgan Hill supported the contest.

Here are the winning essays:


Primary Division – Grades 2 and 3

Grand Prize winner: NOEL S. (Grade 3, Mrs. Colton)



Do you like fireworks and barbecues? When I think of these, I think of the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July is a special day for America.  It was the day that America won its independence. In 1776, a declaration was signed for America to be free.  Now people from all over the world come to America to be free! So just keep this in mind: The Fourth of July is the day that America won its freedom. I LOVE AMERICA!




Second Place winner: Cora K. (Grade 3, Mrs. Miceli)


Today I will tell you about what the 4th of July means to me.

First, the 4th of July means celebrating our country’s freedom and spending time with family and friends.  Also, remembering the people who fought for our freedom and country.

Second, what I do to celebrate the 4th of July is to watch fireworks with my friends and family and I also go to watch the Morgan Hill 4th of July parade.

All in all, my favorite part of the 4th of July is spending time with family and friends. Have a great 4th of July!


Third Place winner: Scarlett A. (Grade 2, Ms. Patel) 


We celebrate the 4th of July as a birthday for America.  The first 4th of July was in 1776. On that day, we signed the Declaration of Independence.  By signing the Declaration of Independence, we became the United States of America and were no longer controlled by England.  We celebrate this day by having firework shows, having parades, and singing songs that remind us why America is great.  In Morgan Hill, we have a big celebration and my favorite part is the “Patriotic Sing”. Singing songs about America reminds us that it wonderful to live in the United States of America.






Intermediate Division – Grades 4 and 5

Grand Prize: Karl S. (Grade 5, Mrs. Chappell)

Karl S,

We celebrate the 4th of July because that’s America’s Birthday. When I think about the 4th of July, I think of Morgan Hill’s 4th of July Parade, and our whole community gathering together to celebrate America’s Birthday.

I think of the 4th of July as a time to spend with family and friends, and honor all the military heroes who fought for our freedom.  I think of the stars on our flag  as well as the stripes. The stars represent all of our United States. The stripes represent the original thirteen colonies. The thirteen colonies that helped form  America and the whole United States.

When I think about the 4th of July, I think about the songs that people enjoy singing around the 4th of July like patriotic songs. The patriotic songs that come to my mind are “The Star Spangled Banner”, “My Country Tis of Thee”, “God Bless America”, and many more patriotic songs.

When I think of the 4th of July, I think of how many versions and names the flag had before it was how it is today. The stars were based off of the Washington Headquarters flag; it started with five rows, and a two three two three pattern. This flag was important because it was anywhere General Washington was. The flag flew over battlefields, the headquarters or raised above soldiers marching.

Over time the flag has changed many times, every time a state was added, they added a star and a stripe, then they decided to keep 13 stripes to represent the 13 colonies. The stars would then represent the number of states. This is the flag we know today and flies high over our schools, at our government buildings, over our battleships, on our military heroes, uniforms, on our airplanes, and next to our homes on the 4th of July

Another reason I love the 4th of July is to celebrate our country’s heroes. Those heroes who have fought for our freedom, and those who have fallen. Our heroes protect us no matter what and sacrifice themselves to protect us. They had to go through hard training to get to where they are, and they give it their all. I think all of our heroes deserve more than what they get because they are giving up so much to fight for our country.

In conclusion, I like the 4th of July, and I’d personally like to thank everyone who has fought for us. Overall, the 4th of July is a fantastic day and we live in a community that celebrates it to its fullest. From the Patriotic sing, to the running race, the car show, parade, and fireworks our community comes together to celebrate the 4th of July. We are United as one celebrating our United States.

Second Place Winner: Andy T. (Grade 5 – Mrs. McDonald)

Andy T.

When I think about Independence Day, I think about our country’s heroes, our rights, and our freedom in this country.  Imagine being in an area that has absolutely no freedom, your country has unfair laws, and you have no control over your choices. I would not be happy, but many countries today still face this issue. These countries have no independence whatsoever, and are miserable. However, we should be grateful we are independent and never have to worry about this happening to us.

Independence Day is a day to celebrate our independence, which is why we should be thanking those who fight for our freedom and rights, such as the Armed Forces, or police officers, who do a big part in conserving our rights and keeping us safe.

When I hear about Independence Day, I also think about how we have our own freedom, we have freedom of speech, the freedom to play our favorite video games like Roblox. And, we have the freedom to read our favorite book series and the right to express who you are.

Our celebrations here in Morgan Hill already do a big part in helping us celebrate Independence Day. I love the parade because I get to eat popsicles and hold flags. A lot of people come so it is fun to celebrate together as a community.

I am writing about this because it is important to recognize that we are Independent, we have many free choices. We can also express ourselves however we want. I am proud to be an American!

Third Place winner: Asztryd B. (5th Grade – Mrs. Chappell)

Asztryd B.

Playing in the sun on this year’s 4th of July, isn’t just about the fireworks.

It is about the history between the Fourth of July and our great Declaration of Independence! The real question is “Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?” The Fourth of July is truly an amazing, and historical celebration.

“What historical accomplishment is celebrated by the Fourth of July?”

Well, in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was founded and led us to freedom. Throughout history, our former leaders of the Declaration were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. You see, they are the main reason we are here standing, being heard, and under our own blanket of rules. They wrote the Declaration of Independence for our chances of being free and to have better life opportunities, whether it’s a job or anything in life! We celebrate our role models and the Declaration on the Fourth of July in an important, historical, celebration.

In order to get a clear picture, we need to know how life was before the Declaration of Independence. Facing this challenge back then, against Great Britain wasn’t easy, Great Britain used to own the Thirteen Colonies. Therefore, Great Britain was empowered to rule all colonies.

The colonies were furious at how unfairly they were treated, and how little they got respect. They all deserved equal rights! Soon, came their heroes Thomas, Benjamin, and John. These three were heroes to all. They were the presidents who had introduced us to freedom and brought us to this point.

It took great leadership in order to make the Declaration of Independence a reality. First of all, they had to make great suggestions to be an independent citizen. Second of all, they had to convince their “king” to approve their request. The three presidents convinced their king, therefore they were now free but had to make their own rules. For this reason, they held a meeting in Philadelphia, where other historical meetings have played out.

One might think the importance of the Fourth of July is fireworks, the food, and celebrations.  However, the spirit of the Fourth of July rests in that, thanks to this, we are free Americans!  This means we are empowered to have a better life if we are willing to work hard. We have many options when it comes to culture and religion. This combination of differences makes us proud Americans from this great country.