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Lauren Faberlle’:
2005 Winner
FDNY Engine 307

Lauren Faberlle’

Winning Essay

Democracy is basically a form of government where all the people of that country are allowed to have a say in what goes on in that country. The citizens are also equal in every aspect in that country. Democracy has been around ever since the Greeks first began to use it. However, despite the fact that the Greeks first used democracy, it was not a complete democracy due to the fact that not all of the citizens were allowed to participate in voting and lawmaking. The tradition of keeping certain people out of the democratic loop continued in other countries like America until civil laws were passed, allowing women and people of different skin color to finally participate in the voting and decision making process. Of course, there is never a real way for democracy to ever be fully democratic, since people in any democratic country can still be treated differently than others in that same country.

Another form of government that differs from democracy is totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is basically a form of government where one person of a group of people has complete control over every single thing that happens in the country. This kind of government was used during Stalin’s reign in Russia and Hitler’s reign in Germany. The obvious difference between totalitarianism and democracy is that the leader of the former usually rules the people cruelly, never allowing the people to have a say or a choice in whatever they feel like doing next.

A Monarchy was for a long time the same as a government under totalitarianism, until nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta of course. It basically consisted of a family that was considered the one chosen by God to rule the kingdom, which is called Divine Right. With this kind of power, the king and the rest of the royal family were for a while allowed levying whatever laws and taxes they wanted to on their subjects. There was also a rigid social class system, where it was nigh impossible for someone on the lower scale to ever get up to a better position in life.

As citizens in a democratic country, there are four things that the people must always take care of. Citizens must always vote when something comes up for it. Voting is one of the things that sets democracy apart from the other types of governments; where the citizens are threatened with violence if they even look at a voting booth. There would be no point in being a democratic country if the citizens don’t even vote.

A citizen should always answer the call of duty when it is sounded. This does not mean that they have to sign up for the military however, since that would turn into a militaristic country instead of a democratic one; but they should help when their country is in a kind of crises any way that they can from volunteer work to monetary donations of any denomination.

Citizens must always keep their own individuality. A democratic country, especially America was made so that people with different lifestyles and beliefs could live without having to worry about a mob coming after them with torches and pitchforks. If everyone did the same exact thing and believed the same exact thing, it wouldn’t give America the same spice that it was meant to have in the first place. America is supposed to be a large melting pot; where different people come together to make one thing. That image would be dead if everyone conformed to become the same exact thing in the end.

The last and most important thing that a citizen must always do in America and any other democratic country is to speak up if they feel something is wrong. If a citizen see a police officer or a public official abusing their power in some way then they must do something. They must at least say something without having to fear that person will in the end come after them and harm them. That is one of the main differences between America and other countries. In America a person can expose a corrupt police officer without having to worry that the station will do everything in their power to protect the corrupt officer and then harass the citizen for “blowing the whistle.” In other countries, people cannot stop the corrupt that are in power. In America, they not only can, but they should to make sure that America is not run by the greedy and the bullish people.

I myself am torn between pride and slight disgust at being an America citizen. I am proud that I live in a country where a person can be what they wish to be, without having to be afraid or ashamed of it. I am also proud of that fact that America has always been the one country that always gives money to other countries when they are in desperate need of it most. America has also seemed pretty loyal to their allies whenever there was a kind of conflict that could affect them in the long run. The wealth of America also gives me hope of being able to make something of myself one day when I am older.

However, I also feel a bit of shame mixed in with my pride. I feel shame at the fact that the reason America is so big is due to the efforts of the government and military to completely destroy the Native Americans who lived here first. I am also ashamed at the fact that at this moment people in Congress and the White House are working on an amendment to the Bill of Rights, which will legally make second class citizens once more in America, despite the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that every person is to be given the same exact thing as everyone else; including the right to be married.

However, I am mostly proud of being an American and for what that means to me. I am an American who has seen two tall buildings come down; their smoke a shroud for so many people. I am an American who saw her father go into that same shroud, and come back alive in the end. I am an American who has seen a man get into power because his brother was a governor of the last stat to have its votes tallied. I am an American who has seen this country come together in its greatest hour of dread, and rebuild from the shattered pieces shakily but steadily in the end. I am an American who has also see people come together to try and crush the rights of others who are also American citizens. I am an American who has seen a family come together to sell bracelets to help victims of natural disasters hundreds of miles away from them.

For good and bad, I am an American…and wouldn’t have it any other way.


We would like to wish Lauren Faberlle’ the best of luck moving on to Suffolk Community College. Congratulations!

Hi, everybody. My name is Lauren A. Faberlle’. I am 18 years old and I’m a graduating senior from Newfield High School in Centereach, L.I. My dad, Jorge is a 21yr. veteran of the F.D.N.Y., working out of E307/L154 in Jackson Heights. My mom Diane is a preschool day-care worker for the Y.M.C.A. in Port Jefferson. My brother Julian is 15 years old, and is a freshman and aspiring championship wrestler in my same school.

I love to read fantasy books and graphic novels. The X-men and the Sandman are my favorite graphic novels, and Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors of fantasy books. He can make worlds of his own with a couple of taps of the keyboard, and I want to be like that. I also love the works of the masters of fiction like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Patterson and a smattering of classics like War and Peace and Anna Karenina, to be included in my list of favorite titles.

I plan on being a writer like Neil Gaiman, however I know that it is not realistic to instantly expect to be put on the top ten writer’s list and make lots of money by writing. Therefore, I am going to be studying to be a special education teacher. Both because I can work well with children with learning disabilities and I can teach and share my love for literature. I would like to be a teacher for as long as it takes for me to be able to be a writer and work on that full time.

Until then, I have been writing stories of my own. I write both original stories and fan fiction (original stories using all ready made characters). My specialty is stories with the X-men, mostly with Nightcrawler. These stories can be read at, my pen name is Lauren Wagner. My original stories can be read in the books I keep in my room, where I read back at them when I want to, learning how to become a better writer and comparing stories I’m writing now with those I have written in the past.

I also like to play video games. I mostly play role playing games like the Final Fantasy series. I also like to play tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons. I find that playing these games keeps my creative juices flowing.

I have two favorite school subjects; A.P. Literature and Heroes in Literature. A.P. Lit is fun because we read a lot of stories and then talk about them in detail for days on end. Our teacher is really fun, and a lot of us plan on keeping in contact with her after we graduate. In Heroes in Literature, we watch movies and talk about comic books. Obviously this is one fun class and the teacher is even letting me teach the class for a few weeks. I’m teaching the X-men part of the class. It’s a blast there.

This fall I’m going to attend Suffolk Community College. First I’m going to get my associates degree and then I’m going to transfer to a four yr. college and earn my Masters and then my Doctorate. I’m really excited about this and I can’t wait for classes to start. I really think that is going to be a good experience for me, and I hope to make some new friends when I get there. Hopefully my writing will get better after this, and my ability to teach will improve too. How else am I going to be a write/special education teacher?

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