An “All-American” Day
For the weather connoisseurs, this Tuesday has been one to cherish, truly “spring personified”; namely, a day complete with plenty of golden sunshine and a gentle breeze sweetly caressing the landscape.
Voters in West Virginia hit the polls early as the right to be free and call themselves Americans trumped even the nearly perfect weather.
In the Buckeye State, farmers in Ohio sowed their corn and soy fields in hopes of a bumper September crop.
In the storm battered Bluegrass, Kentuckians relished in the break from the rain on a gem of a day on the horse farm. Many looked ahead to this weekend in Baltimore where Big Brown will attempt to add a garland of Black Eyed Susan to his collection of roses at Pimlico.
But what made this day even more special to me was the forensic contest I judged at my church school, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Grade School. It was here that I learned more about America in an hour and a half than I had since my days at Drexel University.
Fatima students accepted the challenge to make known their knowledge and passion for a national landmark of their choice. Then in a tense 3 to 5 minute speech, their task was to defend that landmark as a unique piece of Americana.
This speech contest is the brainchild of the Modern Woodmen of America, a society whose mission is to enhance fellowship and community service through education. Nationwide, more than 100,000 students chose a US landmark and made their case for iits place in history!
From Camden Park to Ellis Island and from the Lincoln and FDR Memorials to Lady Liberty, a “dazzling dozen” of Fatima’s best wowed me and my fellow judges with their passion for America and their oratory skills.
I have included a series of team and individual pictures from the event. Grand Fatima champion Elizabeth Schmitz lauded the history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse as she earned the first place plaque. Meg Barber painted a captivating picture of Pearl Harbor Day in Hawaii in placing second and Emily Goetz included the Grand Canyon in her personal “7 wonders of the world” essay to take home 3rd place plaudits.
Of course all the students were winners in their own way as they battled the inevitable nerves that public speaking generates. Just standing up and giving it their best shot made this day a truly “All American” day. Our forefathers would have nodded their approval as I dubbed this day a TC Top 10er in more ways than one!