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I had the honor of going to Washington D.C to visit our Capital. It was everything you would image it would look like. It was a huge building looking statuesque amongst all the other buildings. Standing strong and regal, it was ominous and intimidating. Once inside I could hear the echoes of footsteps and ghostly whispers. There are marble staircases and murals on the walls and ceilings. Dimly lit and flickering wall lights lined the hallways. Men and women in suits scurried about never looking up. What in the world, am I (a 12-year-old kid) doing in a place like this? Do I belong here? Does anyone care to hear from me?

Yes, I have a right to be here! It is the 1st amendment in the constitution. I have right to petition government for any injustice I may feel is evoked on me. I can do this alone or in a group. I choose to voice my issues with the Hemophilia Community. (Your voice is louder in numbers.) Many issues face me and others my age, living with a chronic illness. If I do not speak up and act on my right, I have no one to blame when my future becomes more difficult.

I learned that legislators do want to hear from me. They want to hear from every person young and old. They need to hear from us! There are many topics and situations affecting people throughout the United States. There is no other way for legislators to know what is important to us. If they do not know what benefits programs or laws give us, they will not continue them. If they do not know what problems we face, they cannot correct them.

Everyone has a story to tell. That story is their life and how legislation helps or hinders their life. You could live on a farm and be struggling financially in need of a tax break. You could be in a wheelchair and need help making access to stores easier. You may be a conservationist and need help protecting our natural resources. I need to be protected too. To help yourself and others, use the first amendment it is our right.

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