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Pearl Harbor Essay Contest


pearl harbor day essay contest


PHDCC Mission Statement

Pearl Harbor Day Commemorative Committee
Henderson County, NC

Mission Statement-Pearl Harbor Day
Essay Contest and Patriotic Program

Hendersonville, NC
A 501 (c) (3) Educational Organization

The first annual essay contest and patriotic program was in 2004. The mission of the Committee is to educate and make the young people in our schools and the public aware of the magnitude of the effect that the attack on Pearl Harbor had on all Americans. We will do this by sponsoring an essay contest in the high schools on “What is the Significance of Pearl Harbor.” This contest will culminate with an annual patriotic December 7 ceremony featuring the essay winner and a Pearl Harbor/WW II survivor. The event is free and open to the public at the Historic Henderson County Courthouse or other Hendersonville site as appropriate.

A historical pamphlet/CD has been prepared to circulate to students at the schools during the fall. It is reasonably short and shows how the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, plunged the United States into World War II. It explains that the loss of life in that sneak attack was 2,334 (about the same as it was in the terrorist attack on 9/11). It points out that our country was totally unprepared for war, and with much of our existing sea power destroyed at Pearl Harbor, the sleeping giant was awakened.

We want to illustrate to the students that the country banded together and stayed together to form the largest and best fighting force known to man. That fighting force numbered 16 million Americans who served in World War II. Over one million Americans shed their blood for our freedom in this war (almost 406,000 Americans were killed and over 671,000 were wounded.) We highlight the sacrifices in personal pleasures and some freedoms that our people endured and how that spirit of unity brought us to victory in WWII. U.S. industry went from building 100 planes a year before the war to one every five minutes by March 1944. WWII saved the world, but the costs in lives, sacrifice and resources were great. America came to the forefront of this war and Pearl Harbor, as disastrous as it was, served to be the catalyst that brought the country together to launch the mighty effort that led to victory. The nation as a whole sacrificed to preserve our precious freedom – which we now often treat as a right and privilege. We want the students of today to research and understand how the attack on Pearl Harbor led to fundamental changes in our American way of life and to the recognition of our nation as one of the great powers of the world and then to “the greatest nation.” We want them to see where we are today and be prepared for the future.

We shall have Teams of Veterans, WWII veterans if possible, as well as veterans that served in combat in later wars to go to each school from September to November to distribute the historical pamphlet/CD and to describe the events of the times to edify and motivate the students to enter the essay contest. These veterans will emphasize the hardships at the front as well as at home that Americans sacrificially and willingly endured to preserve freedom for all of us and what it means today. We ultimately want to get the story of “What is The Significance of Pearl Harbor” annually to all students through classroom education, discussion and essays; and to a large gathering of students and the public at the patriotic program on December 7th.

The Superintendent of Henderson County Public Schools has agreed to the participation of the four county high schools plus Balfour Education Center and Early College High School on a voluntary basis. Other schools with classes at the high school level invited to participate in this essay contest are the Fletcher Academy, Hendersonville Christian School, Heritage Hall International School, and home schooled students. First, second, and third place winners at each school and for overall county winners will be awarded scholarship assistance prizes. Depending on the PHDCC fund raising efforts, first place at each school and overall county level will be awarded a prize of not less than $200.00 with corresponding amounts for second and third places.

If any school does not have at least three qualified essays, in accordance with our rules, the essays from that school will be combined with another school for judging and earning scholarship assistance money. We plan to have radio, television and/or newspaper coverage for the top winners at each school. The county winner will present his or her essay at the commemoration service on December 7th. We urge representation from each high school to attend the December 7th event.

Essay rules will be presented to public and private high school principals before school starts. High school officials will be consulted to arrange for Teams of Veterans to visit the schools during September, October and early November.

The patriotic commemorative program observing Pearl Harbor Day will be held on December 7th in the Historic Henderson County Courthouse court room if possible beginning at 11am and concluding at 12-noon. Veterans are encouraged to attend and to wear their military or veteran uniforms.

William T. Stanley, Colonel, USAF (Ret), Chairman PHDCC
15 Delacy Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28739
(828) 697-9026


Tax-Exempt Status

1341 Chanteloup Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28739

January 13, 2007

In a letter dated January 3, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service informed the Pearl Harbor Day Commemorative Committee that it has been granted tax-exempt status from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code.  It further states that, “Contributions to you are deductible under section 170 of the code.  You are also qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.”

At its meeting on January 9th, the Committee discussed raising the prizes awarded winners of the Essay Contest, and approved conducting the annual December 7th patriotic ceremony at the Bo Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College.

For information, contact Chairman Bill Stanley at 697-9026 or Treasurer Zeb Palmer 828-967-0706.