Jun 03, 2023
Rice Lake 7th grader wins national essay contest with 'My Pledge to Our Veterans'
Digital Content Manager Leighton with Wisconsin officers along with Wisconsin Voices of Democracy winner, her parents and grandparents. WASHINGTON (WQOW) - A Rice Lake student is getting national
Digital Content Manager
Leighton with Wisconsin officers along with Wisconsin Voices of Democracy winner, her parents and grandparents.
WASHINGTON (WQOW) - A Rice Lake student is getting national attention and praise after winning the Patriot's Pen youth essay contest.
Leighton Peters is a seventh grader at St. Joseph School in Rice Lake. In November, she submitted her essay "My Pledge to Our Veterans" to her local VFW as part of their Patriot's Pen youth essay contest.
According to the VFW, nearly 68,000 students between sixth and eighth grade enter the contest every year.
In her essay, Peters wrote about her grandfather, writing that it is unbelievable his gentle hands, that held her when she was little, once gripped an assault rifle in Vietnam.
"This sparked a realization that a veteran is not only a war or military figure, but they are human, too," she wrote.
Peters first won the Wisconsin VFW Patriot's Pen Essay contest before going to Washington DC, where in a ceremony Monday she received the national first place award and read aloud her essay. She won first place among 52 other finalists.
According to the VFW, the contest "encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society."
Click here for learn more about the Patriot's Pen program, and about the 2023-2024 contest.
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