Veterans Day Essay Contest

Veterans Day Essay Contest

Virginia War Memorial 2021 Veterans Day Essay Contest

The Virginia War Memorial is now accepting entries for the 2021 Veterans Day Essay Contest. The contest is open to all Middle and High School students in Virginia, and a winner will be selected from each age group (grades 6-8 and 9-12). Winners and their teachers will receive a prize, and winning students will be recognized during the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11, 2021. Winning students may also be asked to present their submissions at the Virginia War Memorial following the ceremony, and their essays will be printed in the Virginia War Memorial Foundation’s Newsletter. This year’s prompt, rules and guidelines, and submission form are below:

“None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.”

-President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

Prompt: Write about an American who served in the United States military following the attacks of September 11, 2001 who inspires you. 

This year, we are reflecting on the 20 years that have passed since the surprise attacks of September 11, 2001. To honor those men and women who served in the months and years following 9/11, the Virginia War Memorial is calling on students to write about a service member who inspires them.

Subjects of your essay may be someone you know personally or not, and the subject may be living or deceased. When selecting the subject of your essay, consider your family, members of your community, or others whose stories resonate with you personally. He or she may be from any branch of the military, and have served at any time during the window of September 2001 – today. Consider what lessons they have taught you, and what we could all learn from their example. Your essay should focus on their time in service, that you may also address their time as a civilian if relevant.

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

PLEASE READ THE FULL PROMPT BELOW, AS WELL AS THE RULES AND GUIDELINES. Students may submit their essays via email or using the form below. The deadline to submit is SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17 at 11:59pm. If you have any questions, please contact Morgan Guyer at

2021 Veterans Day Essay Contest FULL PROMPT

2021 Veterans Day Essay Contest RULES AND GUIDELINES


Essay Contest Submissions

Submit your final essay below. Contact Morgan Guyer ( if you have any issues submitting your essay.
  • Please upload your final essay here. Word documents and PDFs preferred.
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, Max. file size: 128 MB.