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Youngsters encouraged to enter Vietnam War essay contest

Scholarships of $1,000 to $500 offered for winning entries

Posted: July 26, 2013 6:45 p.m.
Updated: July 26, 2013 6:45 p.m.

“Why was the Vietnam War important to America?”

Chuck Morris and the Friendly Valley Veterans Club are hoping this question will spark historic interest and inspiration in the minds of Santa Clarita Valley fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.

With the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall due to arrive in the Santa Clarita Valley in September, Morris and his group — who are largely responsible for arranging the memorial’s local stay — want to engage residents of all ages in the historic visit.

Part of the plan is an essay contest for young students to encourage them to research the war that America at one time seemed determined to forget.

“They don’t teach Vietnam in schools: whether it’s in elementary school or 12th grade, no one is teaching about the Vietnam War,” Morris said.

“We thought that because of the wall coming here it should be about the effect of the Vietnam War,” Morris said of the essay question.

Contest organizers begin taking submissions on Aug. 1, and the process remains open until Sept. 2. Essays may be submitted at any of the public libraries in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Morris, a veteran of the Korean conflict, hopes many of the 2,000 youngsters who signed up for the Santa Clarita Public Library’s summer reading program will enter the contest.

School starts at local elementary school districts and the junior high and high school district the week of Aug. 11, so schools may provide another avenue of reaching students before the essay-submission deadline.

The Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall will be on display at the Westfield Valencia Town Center parking lot Sept. 26-29.
Essays are required to be 500-700 words, double spaced, one sided and printed on 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper.

Submissions will be accepted at all Santa Clarita Valley libraries until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Awards are offered in the form of $1,000, $750 and $500 scholarships. The winning essays will also be published in The Signal, and winners will be announced at the opening ceremonies at the Traveling Wall.





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