By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

Hartsville’s VFW Post 4842 recently held an awards ceremony for winners in its Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests.

Participating students from grades 6-12 had to write essays on “Why I Honor the American Flag” (grades 6-8) and “Why My Vote Matters” (grades 9-12).

Submitted photos

Patriots Pen winners were (top picture): first place, Trinity Hayes ($100); second, Victor Hamilton ($75); third, Elizabeth Harris ($50). Voice of Democracy winners were (bottom picture): first place, Noah Cartwright ($150); second, Ann Henry ($100); third, Connor Belcher ($75).

Each also received a backpack, water bottle and notepad. All are pictured with Vice Commander David Chambers and Post Commander Gary Walsh.

Cartwright went on to participate at the district level in the Voice of Democracy contest, where he placed third overall.

A reception with pizza and refreshments was held for the local winners on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Walsh expressed his thanks to the Trousdale school system and Director of Schools Clint Satterfield for helping promote the contests and the VFW.

“It’s great to see young men and women recognizing their roles in our democracy and in preserving its future,” Walsh said. “Cherishing our liberties is an asset, no matter how old you are.”