Pvt. Lester Rochford VFW Post 10052 of Cheshire has selected two Cheshire High School seniors as winners in this year’s essay contest for the Henry E. “Hank” Carson Memorial Scholarship.
The subject of the essay this year was “What American Citizenship Means to Me.” There were 22 entries submitted for the contest which features two scholarships — $1,000 for first place and $500 for second place.
The first place award of $1,000 goes to Adam Opin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Opin. The second place award of $500 goes to Colleen Verneau, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Verneau. The students received their awards directly from the VFW post because the annual CHS Awards Convocation was restricted in attendance this year.
Post Commander John White explained that the scholarship “memorializes our departed comrade, Hank Carson, who did so much for Cheshire for so many years. He was marshal of the Memorial Day Parade for nearly 30 years and had a leading role in many other local veterans’ affairs. His leadership helped raise the public’s understanding and expression of American patriotism and the role of veterans in society.”
The scholarship winners must be Cheshire High School seniors who have displayed knowledge and respect for America, the flag and the Constitution, and who are related to a veteran. “All the entries were meaningful to us,” White explained. “Judging them in an overall sense, we feel that the future of America is in good hands.”
In his winning essay, Opin said, “American citizenship means dedicating myself to this great experiment that all people, regardless of background, race, religion or upbringing are created equal. It means supporting these values, even when it may be tough or when it requires sacrifice to ensure that everyone is able to bask in the prosperity afforded by this nation. It means unifying around common principles, not dividing based on what makes us different.”
“It’s protecting our freedoms and our laws, building a better and freer America, and allowing those who want to join to become a part of this great melting pot,” he continued.