Veterans Day Essay Contest

Veterans Day Essay Contest

Left to right: Matthew Miscikowski, Governor Ralph Northam, Niamh Moreno

The winners of the 2020 Veterans Day Essay Contest were:

Middle School: Niamh Moreno, 7th Grade

The Basilica School of St. Mary
Teacher: Jacklin McKee

Read Niamh’s winning essay here

High School: Matthew Miscikowski, 11th Grade

Deep Run High School
Teacher: Andrew Heare

Read Matthew’s winning essay here

Click here to view a recording of the winners reading their essays on Veterans Day 2020, courtesy of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services


Essay Prompt: 2020

The 2020 Essay Contest is now closed, and winning essays are above. The 2020 Essay Prompt is below. Please check back in Spring 2021 to see next year’s prompt!

The Virginia War Memorial is now accepting entries for the 2020 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, 2020. 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 and all rules and guidelines can be found below:

“It is a challenge to us, all Allied nations, to ensure that they do not and have not died in vain.”

-General Lucian Truscott, Jr.

Prompt: Write about an American who served during World War II who inspires you.

As we reach the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Virginia War Memorial encourages students to reflect on the men and women who have served their country, and find inspiration in their service. Subjects of student essays may be those who survived the war, or those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Students should consider the lessons they can learn from their subject, and what we can all take from their example. While selecting subjects, students should consider family members, members of their communities, or others whose stories resonate personally. Subjects may have served in any branch of the military. Essays should focus on the subject’s time in service, though students may also address his or her time before and after the war if relevant.

Responses should be developed through research, using interviews and/or primary sources when possible. Students are free to utilize newspaper articles, first person accounts, military records, letters, or more to tell us about the subject, and why he or she is inspirational.

2020 Veterans Day Essay Contest FULL PROMPT

2020 Veterans Day Essay Contest RULES

2020 Veterans Day Essay Contest Student Info Sheet