Veterans Day Essay Contest

Veterans Day Essay Contest

The 2019 Veterans Day Essay Contest has concluded. Read this year’s winning entries below, and check back Memorial Day weekend 2020 for next year’s prompt.

Virginia War Memorial 2019 Veterans Day Essay Contest

Winning entries:

Caroline Vernon (left) and Brooke Eubanks (right) with Governor Ralph Northam

High School Winner: Caroline Vernon
Patrick County High School, Patrick County
11th grade
Teacher: Lisa Belcher


Middle School Winner: Brooke Eubanks
Chickahominy Middle School, Hanover County
6th grade
Teacher: Cheryl Clarke


2019 Runners Up:

High School:

Rashad Seaborne, Maggie Walker GS, Richmond, 11th grade (read essay here)
You Jin Lee, Freeman HS, Henrico, 12th grade (read essay here)

Middle School:

Clarke Canova, Homeschool, James City County, 8th grade (read essay here)
Jaqulynne Stewart, Edward Drew MS, Stafford, 6th grade (read essay here)

2019 Prompt:

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as best he can, the same cause.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Write about a Virginian in the military from the 20th or 21st century who inspires you. This can be someone you know personally or not, and the subject may be living or deceased. What lessons have they taught you, and what can we all take from their example? While selecting the subject of your essay, consider your family, members of your community, or others who stories resonate with you personally. He or she may be from any branch of the military, and have served at any time and in any capacity during the 20th or 21st centuries (they do not have to have been a combat veteran). Your essay should focus on their time in service, though you may also address their time as a civilian if relevant.

Develop your response through research, using interviews and/or primary sources when possible. Feel free to utilize newspaper articles, first person accounts, military records, letters, or more to tell us about your subject and why they inspire you.