2017-18 VFW Patriots Pen Youth Essay Writing Contest
Posted On:
Friday, November 17, 2017
Luke Page reading his essay at the ceremony.
Luke Page reading his essay at the ceremony.
8th grader Luke Page named 1st place winner!

The Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest is an annual contest sponsored by the VFW that encourages students in grades 6-8 to examine our nation’s history, and their own experiences in modern American society. Student entries consist of a 300-400-word essay, expressing their views based on an annual patriotic theme that is chosen by the National VFW Commander-in-Chief.  This year the chosen theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.”

Congratulations to 8th grade student, Luke Page, for capturing 1st place.  In his speech Page speaks about the sacrifices of our miltary to ensure our freedoms. "We have been given these privileges by people who fought wars decades ago to people who are out there fighting for us now, somewhere in this vast world, all for one thing, freedom. All these “gifts”, have been passed down for decades, and this will continue as long as Americans stay determined to fight for their rights. Our determination to do all of this, to fight for freedom is one of our greatest advantages of being an American."

Eric Segundo, Director of Veterans Services for the Town of Ludlow, explains that annually approximately 100,000 students in grades 6-8 nationwide enter this contest. One first-place winner from each state will be chosen to compete in the national level. The national first-place winner is awarded $5,000, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

“The good will of the Veterans of Foreign Wars reaches far beyond the realm of veterans helping veterans,” shared Segundo. “In fact, direct involvement with America’s youth and communities has always been, and always will be, a VFW priority.  That’s why we encourage youthful minds to examine our nation’s history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest.”

Director Segundo, with the assistance of the Baird Middle School Patriot’s Pen Coordinator and English/Reading Department Chair Michelle D’Amore, was proud to report that over  200 entries were collected for this year’s essay contest.  With the support and help of Baird Middle School teachers about 20 essays were submitted.  The Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges VFW Post 3236 (Ludlow), extended a thank you to all of the BMS students who took the time to participate, and share their personal thoughts.  

The top 10 essays were recognized during the annual Veterans Day Celebration held at The Exit 7 Players on November 10th.   Each student was given Patriot’s Pen certificates and a monetary award. The top 5 winners will continue to the district level competition.

"Baird's students and teachers recognize how fortunate we are to have such an active VFW in Ludlow and are grateful for the opportunity to participate in their Patriot's Pen contest every year,” shared D’Amore.

Stacy Monette, BMS Principal, was in attendance, commenting, “I could not have been more proud of our Baird students for their participation in such an important event to honor our veterans. I am so happy that I was able to attend and see all of the Baird students get recognized for their hard work and passion on behalf of all veterans.”  

Please click here to read the 1st place essay written by Luke Page. Below is a video of Luke reading the essay at the event.  












1st Place -  Luke Page, Grade 8

2nd Place - Brendan M. Hiller, Grade 8

3rd Place - Karly A. Bailey, Grade 8

4th Place - Katherine M. Tassinari, Grade 8

5th Place - Brielle E. Gibson, Grade 8

6th place - Alexander Nicoll, Grade 7

7th place - Anden Bavieri, Grade 8

8th place - Fiona G. Elliott, Grade 8

9th place - Aivree Ann Kus, Grade 8

10th place - Ava Kochanowicz, Grade 8

Thank you to Tina Gilbert, BMS English Teacher, for sharing this video and photos that highlights the event.

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