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Virginia War Memorial Launches Veterans Day Essay Contest for Students

The Virginia War Memorial is seeking student entries for its first Veterans Day Essay Contest.

The contest is open to all middle and high school public, private, or homeschooled students living in Virginia. A winning entry will be chosen from each age group. Each winner will be invited to the Memorial in Richmond to read his or her essay at the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony, November 11, 2016.

Each winner will receive a $200 cash prize presented by Haley BuickGMC of Midlothian.

VWM - Patriot Day 2015 - saluteAccording to Virginia War Memorial Education Director James Triesler, the 2016 Veterans Day Essay Contest commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the opening and dedication of the facility on Belvidere Street.

Students should write a personal essay of 400 to 500 words, drawing from a quote in the speech delivered by famed World War II General Matthew B. Ridgeway at the Virginia War Memorial’s dedication ceremony on February 29, 1956.

In his speech, General Ridgeway said:

“Today we harvest the fruits these honored men planted, enjoy them in abundance beyond our powers to imagine. But in life there is responsibility
co-equal with every privilege, and a great as our privilege is today, our responsibility is no less. We have a responsibility to keep the torch of liberty before every American eye, the love of freedom alive in every American heart.”

James Triesler said it is his organization’s mission to help Ridgeway’s words resonate with Virginians of all ages. “Our mission at the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All. This is why we are inviting students from throughout Virginia to reflect on the words of General Ridgeway and write what these inspirational words mean to them today,” said Triesler.

For complete rules, visit or email [email protected].

Entries must be received by five o’clock, October 21, 2016.

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