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Virginia War Memorial Announces Winners Of 2019 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest Students from Hanover County and Patrick County Earn Top Honors

Caroline Vernon & Governor Northam (top photo)  Brooke Eubanks & Governor Northam (bottom photo)

 

A middle schooler from Hanover County and a high school junior from Patrick County were the first place winners in the Virginia War Memorial’s 2019 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest. The winners were announced at the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony held November 11 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

The annual contest was open to middle and high school age students throughout Virginia in public or private schools or homeschooled. The essay topic was “A Virginian Who Served in The Military in The 20th or 21st Century Who Inspired Me.”

The student writers of the winning essay in each category won a cash prize of $250 and were invited to read aloud their essay during the 2019 Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony. Their teachers were also invited to Richmond and each received a $100 prize to be used for classroom supplies.

The winner in the middle school category was Brooke Eubanks, a 6th grader at Chickahominy Middle School in Hanover County. Her essay was about her uncle, Army Sergeant First Class Eddie O. Johnson.  Her teacher is Cheryl Clarke.

The winner in the high school category was Caroline Vernon, an 11th grader at Patrick County High School in Stuart.  Her essay profiled her brother, Justin Vernon.  Lisa Belcher is her teacher.

Brooke and Caroline read aloud their winning essays as part of the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony. They were congratulated by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who was the keynote speaker for the annual program.

Runners-up in the Veterans Day Student Essay Contest were also announced. These were:

(Middle School)

  • Clarke Canova, Homeschooled, 8th Grade, James City County
  • Jaqulynne Stewart, Edward Drew Middle School, 6th Grade, Falmouth (Stafford County)

(High School)

  • Rashad Seaborne, Maggie Walker Governors School, 11th Grade, Richmond
  • You Jin Lee, Douglas Freeman High School, 12th Grade, Henrico County

All of the first place and runner-up essays are posted online on the Virginia War Memorial Foundation website at www.vawarmemorial.org/learn/contests-scholarships/essays/ .

About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All. Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. Located in downtown Richmond at 621 South Belvidere Street, the Virginia War Memorial is open to the public seven days a week for tours and visitation. The Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military.  For more details, visit www.virginiawarmemorial.org or www.dvs.virginia.gov .

 About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 operating locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.