Honoring America’s Veterans, the nonprofit organization behind the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, has opened entries to its annual High School Essay Competition.
Winning students will receive cash prizes and their teachers will earn $100 for use in their classroom.
As the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, the theme for both the parade and the essay contest is: “Waving the Flag of Freedom.”
“From the very beginning, the American flag has been a symbol of freedom and patriotism. It shows your support of our country and of the men and women who serve and fight for our independence. It is this spirit that Honoring America’s Veterans captures in this year’s parade and essay contest theme,” said HAV Executive Director Paula Pedene. “We want to hear from our young people today about what the flag and the service of our veterans means to them.”
This year’s essay competition requirements are:
• Student must be currently attending an Arizona high school in grades 9-12. Home schooled students of high school age are also eligible.
• Entries must be 300-500 words long.
• Entries must be submitted online on the Honoring America’s Veterans website.
• Entries must be submitted by Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Entries will be judged on their focus on the theme, creative writing, grammar, originality and content.
Past competition winners say the experience gave them a greater appreciation for their country and the veterans who serve.
“To me, having won this competition not only showed me that I was capable of being a great writer, but it also showed me that my writing could make a real difference in my community,” said 2020 Essay Competition Winner Gowri Biju. “I think it’s important for me to take up the mantle of celebrating our great nation and the values it stands for. In my essay, I wanted to let all veterans know that their bravery and sacrifices weren’t taken for granted, and I’m so thankful to ‘Honoring America’s Veterans’ for giving me a platform to express my gratitude.”
“Being an essay winner is not just about writing words on paper, it’s about exuding admiration not only for our nation- but for those that sacrifice their lives to have our nation strive,” added 2020 Essay Competition Winner Xoshill Saldana. “It is prominent to acknowledge and appreciate veterans for their impact within the land of the free. “
Selected winners will receive a cash prize, the opportunity to ride on the Hall of Flame fire truck in the 2021 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, publication of their essay in the parade program and on the Honoring America’s Veterans website, and Veterans Day commemorative items. Teachers for each of the winners will receive a $100 cash prize for their classroom.
Since 2011, Honoring America’s Veterans, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization strives to help Arizona’s veterans heal and reintegrate back to society through honor and recognition events.