Brandon Peters - East Valley Tribune: Centennial Essays

Brandon Peters

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Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 10:25 am

I was born in Arizona on June 8, 1997. Over the past 13 years, I have been all over the state with the Boy Scouts and on family trips. I have lived in Arizona my whole life. I have traveled everywhere from the Grand Canyon to the Mexican border. Because I have seen and experienced this great state, I’m qualified to write about Arizona pride.

Most people only think that Arizona is a dry wasteland. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the breathtaking sonoran desert dominates the southern part of the state, northern Arizona boasts beautiful forests and snowy mountains. I should know. I have hiked, backpacked, skied and sledded down many Arizonan mountains. The scenery is unique and words cannot accurately describe it. Whenever I go camping, I thank God for the awe inspiring nature that surrounds me. I am very proud to live in the only state that has one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon.

Arizona has a rich history. We achieved statehood ninety-nine years ago under President William Howard Taft, being the last mainland U.S. state. Originally, we were part of the New Mexico Territory, which was purchased from Mexico in 1848. Our state has gained fame from many heroes, including the Navajo code talkers and the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona in World War II. In more recent times, the privately funded Phoenix Zoo, the Grand Canyon, and warm temperatures have made tourism rise. Other engineering feats like the Hoover Dam have secured our place in national history.

Arizona has diverse wildlife. We are known for coyotes and rattlesnakes. We also have one of the three species of poisonous lizards in the world, the Gila Monster. Our birds, snakes, fish, deer, predators, and more have adapted to numerous types of ecosystems, such as the forest and the desert. Another form of wildlife, living in the “jungle of steel,” are known for believing 70 degrees to be cold and don’t break a sweat until it is over 100. This form of wildlife, just like human Arizonans, is tough and hardy. Also, some of our high schools and colleges are ranked among the best. I am proud to live amongst these people.

Arizona is a rich state, whose wealth abounds by the nature, history, and wildlife that coexist. Even though it is 99 years old, Arizona has already made a name for itself, while other states have had 200 years to do the same. This state is the best state of the union. Arizona has a little bit of everything, and also has many unique features. I am proud to live in Arizona. 

• Brandon Peters, 8th grade, Hamilton Preparatory Academy

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