AMVETS group ready to honor local patriot essayists

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

The aim of the AMVETS organization is to provide support for veterans and their families and to lend a hand for community service.

One of the annual community services efforts is an essay contest that is meant to instill a sense of patriotism among school-aged children. On Wednesday, members of the Ironton AMVETS post 5293 will award prizes to three Ironton High School students who won the organization’s local patriotic essay contest. The IHS sophomores were asked to write an essay titled “Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?” Janet Stamper, a member of the AMVETS Ladies’ Auxiliary, helped organize the local essay contest. She said she is pleased with the overall effort.

“One child wrote that freedom isn’t free and that’s is so true,” she said. “Some people think the Fourth of July is about setting off fireworks and things like that and to just have fun. We hope with this (contest) they learn the true meaning of what the Fourth of July is all about.”

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AMVETS State Service Director Dave Barker will join local AMVETS members in presenting the awards. The local first-place winner will receive $100; the second- place winner will receive $50, the third-place winner will receive $25. The first place winner will also advance to the district competition. A win on the district level will send the winner on to national competition later this year.

Betty Malone, who also helped organize the local contest, said she hopes those who took part gain a deeper appreciation for our nation’s history and the part veterans have played over the years to make America what it is today.

“All the freedoms we have today and all the privileges are because of them and what they did so we could have our freedoms,” Malone said.

Seventy-eight students participated in the local essay contest.