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Putnam County American Legion Hosting Speech Event Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam County American Legion Hosting Speech Event Saturday

Fourth through eighth grades from local schools will share their feelings about the flag during the Putnam County American Legion Oratorical Contest Saturday.

Scholarship prizes will be given out to the top three contestants. Local Commander Rich Buford said the Putnam County American Legion is the only group to open up the contest to students below the high school level.

“We’re hoping they’ll feel more comfortable in expressing their views in front of other people,” Buford said. “We also hope they’ll learn from this experience and enter the high school contest the American Legion has.”

This is the third year the American Legion has hosted an Oratorical Contest. Buford said the American Legion decided to open the contest up to younger students because there was a decline in the number of high school students participating. He said they received only 12 essays from Putnam County high schoolers.

“We’re hoping by doing it in elementary school and getting the student more relaxed and understand that this is not really that hard, they will want to participate in our Oratorical Contest when they get to high school,” Buford said.

Third place will receive $50, second $100 and first place is a $200 prize. Buford said the contest is also a learning experience for students.

“I think it’s important that students learn the history of the flag, to understand the importance of our symbol the American Flag and what it means to other people all over the world,” Buford said.

The contest will be held at the Putnam County Courthouse from 9am to noon. The event is open to the public.

“Citizens are invited just to watch these students give their presentations,” Buford said. “It’s a lot of enjoyment, and we’ll have several veterans there that are going to get big smiles from seeing these young students express their love for our American Flag.”


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