Georgia AmLegion Post 304

This Weblog is for the exclusive use of members of Post 304 of the Georgia American Legion in Kennesaw/Acworth, GA. It may be used for numerous purposes but will be primarily a site for communicating information to our members.

If you wish to post a "blog" on this weblog, please contact me at: dburdette488@bellsouth - I will either post it for your or advise you how to do it yourself.

Snail mailing address for the Post: American Legion Post 304, P.O. Box 15, Kennesaw, GA 30156-0015.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Berean High School Junior Sweeps to Victory, Earns $18K Scholarship In American Legion Oratorical Contest

INDIANAPOLIS, April 23, 2006 - A high school junior from Knoxville, Tennessee, capped a busy weekend of competition in Indianapolis by earning an $18,000 college scholarship. The title of his winning oration: "The Constitution Is Not A Spectator Sport."Nicholas Russell Elledge started the weekend as one of 52 state champions in the 69th annual American Legion National High School Oratorical Championship and advanced to the top through three rounds of intense competition.

Terrie Linnette Nelson, a freshman at Wayne Christian High School of Goldsboro, North Carolina earned a $16,000 scholarship while Katie Dahlinghaus, a sophomore from Minster High School, Ohio earned a $14,000 college scholarship.

The scholarships account for a small portion of the roughly $3.5 million in post-secondary scholarships that The American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, awards annually. In his speech Elledge spoke on the background behind the constitution and how the ideas found in our system of government serve as an overview of our duties and obligations as American citizens."Constitutional democracy is not a spectator sport," Elledge said. "Just look at the beginning of the constitution, 'we the people.' Constitutional democracies are not merely founded upon the consent of the people; they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people." "We have a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people, that derives its power from the consent of the governed."

The American Legion provided lodging, hotel accommodations and transportation for all 52 contestants and their chaperones attending the weekend-long competition here at the University Place Conference Center and Hotel. The site is on the campus of Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.In each round of the weekend competition, orators delivered a rehearsed 8- to 10-minute address and a randomly assigned 3- to 5-minute oration on a constitutional topic, each without the benefit of notes and in front of a live audience, including the judges.

The 2.8-million member American Legion developed the contest to encourage young people to improve their communications skills and to study the U.S. Constitution.Elledge summed up his speech by challenging all Americans to be more active in their government. "If my freedom is the envy of the world, and if countless patriotic Americans have died for it, how much more ought I to be active in civic affairs and informed about our founding documents. The freedoms guaranteed by our constitution are precious, but they are put at risk when we treat government like a spectator sport."


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