Cody Day, a fourth-grader at Shore Acres Elementary School in St. Petersburg, receives an award from Cindy Weatherby for winning the National Gold Medal in the third- and fourth-grade category of the annual American Legion Americanism Essay Contest. Weatherby is chairwoman of the contest for American Legion Auxiliary Unit 14 in St. Petersburg. In addition to Cody's family, several of his teachers and about 120 second-, third- and fourth-graders attended the presentation in the school's library.
"What freedom do I enjoy the most?
Cody wrote in part: "We enjoy many freedoms in our country. One of the freedoms I enjoy the most is freedom of speech. I enjoy this freedom because we as Americans have the right to express our ideas and opinions. This right guarantees that I can speak my mind on anything. I can talk to my friends and family or a group of people in public freely. Of course, no one may use this freedom to injure others or lie about events or people. I like that I can listen to ideas and opinions of others or even government but don't have to agree with them. I am free to speak what I feel and choose what I like. In other countries that don't believe in freedom of speech, people are put in jail for expressing their opinions or even worse. I am lucky and proud to be an American.''