Students encouraged to submit essays, speeches

Oct 27, 2022 | Communities

Staff Writer

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9624 in Cedarpines Park announced the Voice of Democracy speech contest and the Patriots Pen essay contests are being offered again this year with cash prizes. The deadline for the competition is Halloween day.
These speech and essay contests, which were also announced in the school bulletins during the past few weeks, are open to middle school and high school students who attend public, private, or parochial schools; home-schooled students are also eligible.
The Voice of Democracy speech contest is for high school students and is easy to enter. Students should record a three- to the five-minute reading of their original essay, also known as an audio essay, with no sound effects, music, or other effects. Only the student’s own voice reading the essay should be recorded on a flash drive and then submitted to the VFW Post in Cedarpines Park, along with a printed script of the student’s speech.
The topic this year for the Voice of Democracy contest is “Why is the Veteran Important?” Through the speech, students should demonstrate a knowledge of the theme, develop an approach to the topic, and explain it in a clear and concise manner. For judging criteria and an application, go to
For the Patriot Pen essay contest, sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students write an original 300- to 400-word essay, without poetry, focused on the topic, “My Pledge to our Veterans.” Students should be sure to focus on the theme and write in an easy-to-understand manner, conveying an understanding of the topic. To download the application, go to
Turn in the application and speech or essay to VFW Post 9624, 21841 Crest Forest Drive in Cedarpines Park, any day after 4:00 p.m. through Oct. 31. The post is located at the intersection where Waters Drive meets Crest Forest Drive. Or mail it with a postmark prior to Oct. 31 to VFW Post 9624, PO Box 9076, Cedarpines Park, CA 92322, or call the VFW Post after 4 p.m. at (909) 338-0360 to leave a message or to make arrangements to drop off submissions.
Each local winner wins cash prizes in each of the contests: third place wins $50, second place wins $75 and first place wins $100. Those who win at the local level will automatically have their essays sent to the next level of competition and could win the national grand prize of $5,000.


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