Now Accepting Submissions for the 2019 Mary Ryan Memorial Essay Contest

*Submissions for 2019 are now closed. Information about 2020’s essay contest will be made available closer to the 2020 Veteran’s Day Parade. In the meantime, you can view the winning essays here.*

We are excited to announce that we are currently accepting submissions for the Mary Ryan Memorial Essay Contest, in honor of the annual Veteran’s Day celebration in Media, PA. In organizing this contest, we hope that students in Delaware County will learn more about US war history, veterans and how they help preserve our freedom.

We also hope to demonstrate to our veterans that our students are indeed grateful for their service, and to provide our youth with a way to say thank you to our veterans for dedicating their lives to protecting our country.

Who is Eligible?

The essay contest is open to all Delaware County students in grades 6 through 8 enrolled in public, private, parochial or home school. A first, second, and third-place winner will be chosen for the contest, each one winning a cash prize and certificate. The winners will be asked to read his/her winning essay during the Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony in front of the Delaware County Courthouse in Media, PA.

Prize Money

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place:

  • First Place: $250
  • Second Place: $200
  • Third Place: $150

Background for the 2019 Contest

Background: This year’s Veterans Day Parade is in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion. The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to servicemembers and veterans. The essay contest itself will focus on why veterans of all wars, but specifically, more current wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, should belong to the American Legion. To complete this essay, students may interview a family member or a close family friend who is a veteran and is a member of or familiar with the American Legion. Students can also do online research to answer the following question:

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Legion. What is the American Legion and how does it serve veterans? What would you say to veterans of recent wars, like Afghanistan and Iraq, to get them to join the American Legion?

You can read examples of last year’s winning essays here.

Official Rules & Guidelines

Essays will be read by a panel and judged according to adherence to the theme/question, creativity
and basic conventions of writing.

  1. Essays should be a maximum of 250 words, researched through veteran interviews,
    publications, books, internet or classroom studies.
  2. Essays must be typed on 8 ½ by 11-inch paper with a separate cover sheet indicating the
    student’s name, grade, phone number, email address, school and teacher’s name.
  3. One entry per student.
  4. Submission deadline is November 4, 2019, by 4:00 pm.
  5. All entries become the property of the U.S. Veterans Legacy Project.
  6. There will be a first, second and third place winner, with each receiving a cash prize. The
    winners will be asked to read his/her essay during the 2016 Veterans Day Parade and
    Ceremony on Monday, November 11 in Media, PA.
  7. All submissions must be emailed to the attention of Mrs. Adriene Irving:
  8. The Mary Ryan Memorial Essay Contest is open to all public, private, parochial and homeschooled middle school students (grades 6-8) who reside in or attend schools in Delaware
    County. Delaware County students who attend schools in other counties are also welcome
    to enter this contest.
  9. Judging will be completed, and winners notified by November 6, 2019.