Veterans Day High School Essay Competition Now Open through Sept. 13

Honoring America’s Veterans (HAV) is inviting all Arizona High School students to share their stories of inspiration, hope, and gratitude for veterans by entering the annual Essay Competition. HAV awards cash prizes to the top four entries and their teachers.

This year’s theme is The USA, A Beacon of Liberty.  Essay judging will focus on the theme, creative writing, grammar, originality, and content.

“This year’s theme is especially poignant. In the challenging times we’re living in, and we can all use a beacon of light to help us see the way forward.  We believe that beacon will come from the next generation of young men and women who are starting their journeys”, said HAV President Brian Ishmael.

The competition is open to students in grades 9-12 in Arizona, including those who are homeschooled or attend online schools. Essays must be between 300 and 500 words long and include the student’s name, age, and grade, a teacher or parent’s name (if homeschooled), email and phone number, school name, address, and phone number. Entries must be submitted online.

The HAV Phoenix Veterans Day Event Essay Team will review all entries and choose the winners.   In addition to cash prizes, the top four entries will receive recognition during the 2020 Phoenix Veterans Day Online Event, and HAV will post the winning essays online.  Additionally, the teacher listed on the winning student’s entry will receive a cash reward to use for his or her classroom.

“Being an essay winner was such an honor,” says Koriana Cannon, a contest winner from 2016. “Meeting the veterans and being part of the parade is an experience I will never forget. It made me even more thankful for all the people who have risked and lost their lives for America. You are my heroes.”

Every year I look forward to the opportunity to read the winning essays because they leave me inspired, awed, and hopeful for our future.  If you know a high school student, please encourage them to submit an entry online now through Sept. 13, 2020, at

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