Categorized | Education

WHBA awards scholarships; Kim’s essay

Dane Kim accepts congratulations for his scholarship-winning essay from Chief Justice Ronald Moon. (Hawaii247.com photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com Contributing Editor

Dane Kim was one of four Konawaena High School students to earn a West Hawaii Bar Association scholarship earlier this month.

The West Hawaii Bar Association rewarded the graduating seniors for their essays on this year’s Law Day theme – “A Legacy of Liberty Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial.”

Kim, who won $250 toward paying his way through Santa Monica College in California, said Lincoln is his favorite president.

“It really wasn’t difficult to link the idea of liberty to Lincoln,” Kim said.

The essays were judged by Chief Justice Ronald Moon, Third Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra, West Hawaii Bar Association member and attorney Vicki Kalman, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and Mayor Billy Kenoi.

A total of $2,500 was awarded in scholarships.

Here is Kim’s essay:

Abraham Lincoln was a fearless leader who stood by his morals and did what he believed was right. While President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln accomplished many things. Lincoln was sworn in to office during a shaky time in American history, the Civil War. Although he had a heavy load on his shoulders, Lincoln still managed to do outstanding things. Two of his most notable accomplishments were ensuring victory over the Confederates and laying the foundation for the repeal of slavery.

Lincoln entered office at the beginning of the Civil War. Tensions were high throughout the United States because half of the people were siding with the Confederation and the other half were siding with the Union. When the first shots were fired on April, 1861 at Fort Sumter, Lincoln took immediate action sending detachments and ordering troops to protect and recapture all lost forts, as well defend the Capital. Although Lincoln is remembered as being a lawyer turned president, Lincoln did have a military background serving as a captain during the Black Hawk War. Because he already had a taste of military affairs, Lincoln was able to recognize and select top generals for the Union army including Ulysses S. Grant. Even though Lincoln was President he did lose his connection with the people and the soldiers who were putting their lives on the line. After the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battles in American history with between 46,000 to 51,000 casualties, Lincoln knew that his troops and the American people needed a boost in morale, and they needed something to inspire them to keep pressing forward. It was at that moment that he delivered his most famous speech, the Gettysburg address. In this moving and timeless speech, he spoke of human equality, change, a unified nation, and the hope of a brighter tomorrow.

Human equality was something that Lincoln vigorously fought for. He wanted everyone to be treated equally despite race or color. His desire for equality was his motivation to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation was highly criticized because it only affected states that has seceded from the Union. Although Lincoln heard this criticism, he did not withdraw the order. Instead he stood firm and did what he believed in. This was the foundation from which all slavery was outlawed in the United States by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Unfortunately Lincoln did not live to see the efets of his vision for the nation because he was assassinated on April 14, 1865. However, Lincoln set the groundwork for change and equality in the United States. Lincoln led our nation through perilous times, inspired millions of people and never wavered in the face of criticism and hardship. Instead he stood by his beliefs and followed through with what he truly felt was right.

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