ROXBURY, NJ – Six Roxbury students were honored by a local VFW on Monday for writing essays that honored America’s veterans and urged others to do the same.

The youngsters participated in the “Patriot’s Pen” contest and they were presented their awards at the Roxbury Board of Education meeting. In doing so, John Lehnert, commander of VFW Post 2833 in Kenvil, thanked not only the students but also the teachers who encouraged and helped them.

The yearly Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest is open to students in grades 6 through 8. More than 100,000 students participate annually across the nation, according to the VFW. The first-place winner from each state stands to win $1,000 and the national winner wins $5,000 and an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

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“The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief,” says the VFW.

The winners from Lincoln Roosevelt School were:

  • 1st Place - Samantha Wrobel
  • 2nd Place - Guanna Musmanno
  • 3rd Place - James Lu

The winners from Eisenhower Middle School were:

  • 1st Place - Julia Derrick
  • 2nd Place - Michelle Lad
  • 3rd Place - Tara Roumes

The essays had to be between 300 and 400 words. The students were each applauded Monday after they read their essays to the board and a roomful of teachers who attended the meeting. Tara Roumes could not attend the ceremony.