NEW ORLEANS – The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today announced the winners of its first Joe Cook Memorial Essay Contest: Marc Barnes, Hannah Barback, and Reggie Bartholomew. 
 
Students were invited to write about patriotism and what the First Amendment means to them in honor of the ACLU of Louisiana’s former executive director Joe Cook who passed away in 2018. 
 
First Place: 
Name: Marc Barnes
High School: St. Augustine High School
Excerpt: “Patriotism requires us to consider everyone’s opinion. This is because real patriotism is not blindly loving our country for the way it is, but rather loving our country so much that we want to do everything humanly possible to make it better than it was yesterday.”
 
Second Place: 
Name: Hannah Barback
High School: Runnels High School
Excerpt: “To truly be patriotic you must accept the injustices of the past and recognize the flaws in America today and be an active change in correcting them.”
 
Third Place: 
Name: Reggie Bartholomew
High School: St. Augustine High School
Excerpt: “We get so caught up in the sense of unity and identifying under one cause such as a pledge of the National Anthem that we become inconsiderate of those Americans who may wish to express their patriotic values in other forms.”
 
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