New London students participate in essay contest
By Brian Mathu
The American Legion Auxiliary Norris Spencer Post 263 and New London High School’s Freshmen Academy teamed up for the Auxiliary’s annual Americanism essay contest.
In Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, he promised “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.
New London ninth-graders answered the question: “How do we keep Lincoln’s promise to our veterans and their families?”
Students brainstormed ideas and wrote 450-500-word essays in their American & Global Studies classes and then peer edited and revised their rough drafts in their English classes. Twenty-four essays were submitted to New London’s Auxiliary unit. Members read through the entries and determined the top 10, awarding certificates and cash prizes to the top three student writers.
This year, Jordyn Vanevenhoven (first place), Chloe Jandrt (second place), and Maraya Bult (third place) were recognized for their essays when Auxiliary members Marla Knuettel and Lynne Herminath visited the high school on March 30. Vanevenhoven’s essay has been entered into the American Legion Auxiliary’s Wisconsin Americanism essay contest.
“I myself cannot imagine what it must have been like crawling through the swamps of Vietnam, fighting your way across foreign soil in Korea, and hiking through deserts everyday in Afghanistan,” wrote Vanevenhoven in his winning essay. “Even though saying thank you is very simple, it goes a long way for veterans.”
Brian Mathu is a history and social studies teacher at New London High School.