LANCASTER – Scores of Antelope Valley teachers are motivating their students to enter the first-ever AV Wall Essay contest to honor Vietnam War veterans and “Gold Star” families, organizers say.
The Antelope Valley Union High, Lancaster, Westside, Eastside and Palmdale school districts are formally supporting the essay contest, which is part of this year’s presentation of the Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall [AV Wall] in Palmdale.
The AV Wall is one of only two mobile walls that are engraved and the only one laid out in the same design as the original in Washington, D.C. The display measures approximately 250 feet long and 6 feet high at the apex, and it contains the engraved names of all 58,299 Vietnam veterans killed in action and missing in action.
The AV Wall will be on display from Nov. 10 to Nov. 15 at the Palmdale Amphitheater, located at 2723 West Rancho Vista Boulevard.
The AV Wall essay contest is open to students in grades 4th through 12th, and essays are due by Oct. 21.
- 4th-5th grade students: “What is a military veteran? How and why should we honor our veterans?”
- 6th-8th grade students: “What is the most appropriate manner to honor the families of fallen troops (Gold Star families)? Why is this important?”
- 9th-12 grade students: “Research one person on the Wall and write a letter to his / her family honoring their loved ones’ sacrifice.”
One winner in each division will be selected to read his or her essay at an AV Wall ceremony at the Palmdale Amphitheater during the Veterans Days week events slated for Nov. 10 through 15.
“This year’s essay contest will empower even more students to write essays next year,” stated organizer Linda Santana. “We believe it’s a viable educational experience and has the power to reach more veterans and Gold Star families, encouraging them to visit the AV Wall this year and for years to come.”
Students whose school districts are not formally participating in the essay contest can submit their entries by contacting Linda Santana at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to AV Wall Essay Committee, P.O. Box 4874, Lancaster, CA.
[Information via news release from the AV Wall Essay Committee.]