Legislators offer opportunities for area residents to say thank you
Two Southern Illinois legislators are highlighting the importance of honoring the sacrifices made by local veterans.
State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, and State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, are providing opportunities for their constituents to say "thank you for your service" to veterans.
Veterans Day Essay Contest
Fowler is inviting students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades to participate in his Veterans Day essay contest.
“This Veterans Day let’s join together to say ‘thank you’ to the brave men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms,” Fowler said.
“It’s important that we teach our children about the sacrifices that have been made so that they can sleep safely at night. I hope you will encourage the kids in your life to participate in this essay contest.”
For the contest, students will submit a 300- to 400-word essay based on the prompt: “What is the history of Veterans Day, and why is it important that we celebrate this day each year?”
A judging panel of military veterans will review the students’ submitted work and select one winning essay, as well as three to five runners-up essays.
The contest winner and finalists will have the opportunity to visit the senator at the State Capitol in Springfield on a 2018 spring legislative session day and will receive certificates of recognition from the Illinois Senate.
The first-place essay will also be featured in the 2017 Veterans Day display at the Capitol in November.
All essays and contest entry forms must be submitted to Fowler’s district office email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 26. Participants also can drop by the office or mail their entries to 2 N. Vine, 6th Floor, Harrisburg, Ill. 62946.
Contest details are available at senatorfowler.com.
Tribute to Veterans in Springfield
Along with the essay contest, Fowler and Schimpf are inviting constituents to submit a tribute and photo of their friends and family who have served the country to be displayed in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield Nov. 1-13.
The legislators are partnering with the Illinois Department of Veterans's Affair on the tribute.
“While we will never truly be able to properly thank these people for what they have done for us, on Veterans Day, let’s show our veterans that their sacrifices have not been forgotten,” Fowler said.
“Our veterans have proven through their actions that they believe our country and communities are worth fighting and dying to protect. They deserve our respect and recognition for their service to our country.” Schimpf said.
"While we can never do enough for these brave men and women, small gestures of appreciation go a long way towards honoring them and showcasing their sacrifices to our younger generations.”
Families are invited to submit a photo and written story (with a maximum of 250 words) along with the following information: name, military branch (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Navy) and conflict served (Afghanistan, Iraq, September 11, Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, World War II, World War I, peace time, other). Military photos are preferred, but not necessary.
Submissions can be emailed to email@example.com by Oct. 30.
Submissions can also be mailed to Veterans Day Wall, 309 G Statehouse, Springfield, Ill. 62706. For questions, call 217-782-1650.
“This Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our Illinois Heroes and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free every day of our lives,” said Erica Jeffries, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.