Kate Fazioli, 11, a fifth-grader at Willow Lane Elementary School, recently took first place in the Emmaus Flag Day Association's annual Flag Day Writing Contest.
She was among three fifth-graders who were recognized for their efforts in response to the committee's topic: "What the Flag Means to Me."
Other poetry winners include Madalynn Penchishen from St. Ann School and Julia Ardito from Shoemaker Elementary.
Eighth-grade winners, who explored the same topic in essay form, include Brooke Cichocki from Eyer Middle School, Alexa Iannace from St. Ann School and Christine Grace Carlson from Lower Macungie Middle School.
Fazioli, however, also incorporated the Sept. 11 attacks -- which is coming up on its 10th anniversary -- into her poem:
A plane menacingly circles twin buildings,
waiting to strike.
In the distance,
the American flag waves majestically.
A silent hero, whispering words of wisdom,
stay strong, have faith, don't give up.
Our flag inspires us, conecting our people and our nation.
Through rivers of tears, times of hardship and ruined dreams,
nothing can shatter our nation's pride.
Our flag brings us faith, even at the darkest times.
It reminds us we are,
proud and brave.
Even when times seem hopeless,
we'll never forget,
we are Americans,
we live by the flag.
Each winner recited her poem or essay at the Flag Day Observance held June 12 at Emmaus Community Park.