04/05/13 — Art, essay contests linked to Vietnam Wall

View Archive

Art, essay contests linked to Vietnam Wall

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on April 5, 2013 1:46 PM

As part of the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall event planned for later this month, organizers have created two contests for students to give them a chance to participate and maybe learn a little history at the same time.

An essay contest and an art contest are being held, with students judged at three levels: grades four and five, grades six through eight and high schoolers.

The contests are named "What Freedom Means to Me."

The essays are 250 words for fourth- and fifth-graders, 500 words for middle school students and 750 words for high school students.

The fourth-fifth grade winner will receive $100, the middle school winner $200 and the high school winner $500.

Copies of the winning essays will be included in the 25-year and 50-year time capsules that will be buried in the War Memorial at the corner of William and Walnut streets. Copies also will be on display in the atrium at Wayne Community College, where the wall will be erected.

Essays had to be typed and must be the work of the student alone.

The art entries had to be 11 inches by 17 inches and may be of any two-dimensional graphic medium such as pencil, paint, chalk, etc.

The deadline for entries was last week.

Age categories are the same for the art contest as for the essay contest. Prize amounts also will be the same and the winners also will be put into the time capsules as well as displayed in the atrium at WCC.

Only one entry per student was accepted in both contests.

The contests were the idea of several of the organizers of the event.

Al Greene is secretary-treasurer of the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition and commandant of the Marine Corps League Waynesborough Detachment No. 1350. Bill Graham is president of the coalition and the commander of VFW Post 2615.

Both are Vietnam War veterans.

Both said that young people today have very little knowledge of the Vietnam War and that the Wall's appearance in Wayne gives them an unique opportunity to learn about the American experience in Southeast Asia and how it has affected United States history ever since.

"Because it was such an unpopular war, we didn't get the appreciation when we came home," Greene said.

"I don't think a lot of young people are being taught a lot of American history anymore," Graham said. "We know what freedom means and we just want others to know what freedom means."