A collection of patriotic speeches written by more than 100 sixth-graders was presented to a Hill Air Force Base representative Friday in a ceremony at Farmington Elementary School.

Written using the theme "I Am an American," the collection of speeches was presented to Mike Martinez, a Hill representative who accepted the collection for the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) at Hill.Two of the wing's three F-16 fighter squadrons are deployed in the Middle East in the Desert Storm fighting.

In the hourlong ceremony, several students read their speeches following a flag ceremony conducted by representatives of the nine Scout troops in the school.

Martinez spoke briefly, praising the students for their patriotic gesture and promising to pass the collection along to the fighter wing. He also promised to deliver two plates of cookies given to him by the students.

The speeches written by the 110 sixth-graders are a "testimony to your patriotism," Martinez said.

"The Saddam Husseins of the world do not hold life and liberty as precious as we do. He's there for conquest, not just of Kuwait but of Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East," Martinez said.

"But the United States has made a commitment, we've drawn the line. We've gone from sanctions through diplomacy and now to armed conflict. We cannot tolerate Saddam Hussein dominating that part of the world.

"We're looking at a new world order, a new beginning. But we can't start a new era of peace with Saddam Hussein dominating our jugular in that region of the world," Martinez told the students.

"To perpetuate peace you have to prepare for war, and that's what we're doing in the Middle East. The U.S. is kicking butt over there, we're slowly whittling away his ability to fight. We will prevail," according to Martinez.

The cover of the looseleaf notebook, with the speeches and drawings from each of the school's classes divided into sections, noted the collection is "in appreciation for your valor and bravery in defending the rights and liberties of other countries and most of all for protecting and defending the United States of America. May God bless you!"

Some excerpts from the speeches:

"I think that being an American is much more than living in America. It's standing up for, fighting to keep it free and having respect for it and the many people who died fighting for its freedom." - Drey Eskelson.

"If I had a chance to tell the soldiers one thing it would be: Thank you for making one little American boy free and safe." - Skee Fox.

"I wish that every American would appreciate what they have." - Jared Jenson.