Vallies places second in District Patriot Pen competition


Louise Bennett

Bob Lott presents a certificate and a check for $100 to Elizabeth Vallies for her first place finish in the annual Patriot’s Pen essay contest sponsored by the local VFW.

Seventh grader, Elizabeth Vallies placed first first in the Patriot’s Pen essay contest sponsored by the local VFW and second in the district. The 2020-2021 theme for her essay was “What is Patriotism to Me?” Vallies then had to write a 300 to 400 word essay for the contest, which is open to sixth through eighth grade.

Vallies finished first at the local level, and she placed second in District 19, which covers seven counties in Pennsylvania.

Vallies said this was her third year competing in the competition, and this is the first year that she has won. She said Denise Broskin, her social studies teacher, mentioned the competition to her students, and Vallies decided to participate.She said she only knows of one or two others that submitted essays about patriotism.

“[Patriotism] means to be able to respect your country and know what it stands for and stand behind those views,” Vallies said, explaining exactly what patriotism means to her. She continued to say that patriotism is “important to the country” and “if you live here you should probably have it.”

Vallies said she believes this contest is an opportunity to think about things “you would not usually think about,” and she plans to participate again next year.

In total, Vallies won $200 and said she is planning on saving that money for college.

Bob Lott, VFW Post 2076 Senior Vice Commander and District 19 Chairman for youth essay contest, said that any student wishing to enter future contests should contact a VFW member for more information or find it online at The Patriot’s Pen 2021-2022 theme is “How Can I Be a Good American?”

For students in ninth to twelfth grade, the Voice of Democracy (VOD) contest is available with a top prize of a $30,000 college scholarship. This year’s VOD theme is “America: Where do we go from here?” The student entry deadline for both contests is October 31, 2021.