Congratulations to all of our Young Americans!
All YAA awardees received a check for $250
The following students competed successfully for the top prizes:
1st Prize $2,000 – Dominic Colarossi
(Trinity Catholic HS)
2nd Prize $1,500 – Kacie O’Neill
3rd Prize $1,000 – Sophia Ronga
(St. Joseph HS)
Best Essay $1,000 – Lawrence Burmudez
2014 Grand Pre Best Essay Award ($1000)
This award is named after Cheif Warrant Officer John D. Grand Pre, who founded the Young American Award Program.
This essay, written by Lawrence Bermudez of Ridgefield High, was the 2014 winner.
“Land of the free and home of the brave,” Francis Scott Key did not write this line of our nation’s national anthem because they would sound nice when sung at sporting events. He inscribed those words after being kept captive aboard a British vessel because as a British fleet bombarded the American Fort McHenry, the flag of this nation maintained its steady flight and refused to fall just like the men and women who fought to keep that flag in air and the British at bay. The same inspiration applies to the men who fought and sacrificed their lives to raise the flag at Iwo Jima so that a statement could be made to the world that there is no danger oppressive enough to make an American tremble in fear. Countless times through history Americans have refused to fall, refused to give up or abandon hope, refused to accept anything except success. These qualities of an American have withstood the test of time through every war and every depression. Soldier or school teacher, Baghdad or Sandy Hook, there is a selfless quality that resides within every citizen to protect what we have and fight for what we believe in. Our flag will always wave, and Americans will always rally around it. Standing united, Americans can and will conquer any obstacle through our unshakeable and selfless perseverance.