As part of its legacy building to recognize and celebrate our nation’s veterans, Honoring America’s Veterans hosts an annual High School Essay competition to bolster the knowledge of the sacrifice military members make through their service to the country.  This year’s theme is “The USA, A Beacon of Liberty.”

Students from across the state sent in essays to focus on the theme from their points of view.  Essay reviewers then ranked the winners based on the theme, relevance, grammar, and spelling.  Each winner from grades 9-12 will appear on the broadcast show set for 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, on the HAV Facebook and YouTube pages.  The winners are:

  • Gowri Shankar Biju, 9th Grade, Hamilton High School, Chandler, AZ, Teacher, Linda Faria. He writes, “As a country, our history of conflicts has always been about defending the rights we cherish. From the Revolutionary War, where Patrick Henry famously declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!” to World War II, we have broadcasted a message of tolerance and freedom through our brave and resilient military.”
  • Paula Hortig, Grade 10, Casteel High School, Queen Creek, AZ, Teacher, Renee Howell. Hortig is a German exchange student who writes, America – a beacon of hope and freedom. That’s what everyone thinks about the United States back in Germany. The fact that America is the country of independence influenced me a lot when I decided to spend one year here. I wanted to see what it was like to live in a country where everything was possible.”
  • Xoshill Saldana, Grade 11, Betty H. Fairfax High School, Laveen, AZ, Teacher, Dr. Kirk Loving. She writes, “America, a land of triumph and of liberty. It is the land of the free and the land of opportunities for every individual. Our nation is exemplified by our military, which is a reflection of our people. We may not be perfect, but we are a diverse group of citizens willing to risk it all for our country and our home. Our military stands ready to risk their lives to give their people a better nation that is united with grit and independence.”
  • Dianette Molina, 12th Grade, Coronado High School, Scottsdale, AZ, Teacher, Dr. Jo Markette. She writes,America was built upon the words of Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” America shines through its strength and emphasizes its diversity. Our nation is a beacon of light for its freedoms, opportunities, and its citizens.”

pe to have the Essay winners and their families and teachers in the stands next year during our annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade.  You can read the full essay online at www.honoringamericasveterans.org.


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