A LONE CONTENDER- Oratorical Contest on the U.S. Constitution
A LONE CONTENDER IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AMERICAN LEGION HAWAII ORATORICAL CONTEST
How relevant is the U. S. Constitution and its application to our society today? Our lawmakers are having a field day interpreting the Constitution for us. Hot debates, contentious viewpoints, and unprecedented changes by the the U.S. Government namely, the Executive, Legislative,and the Judicial Branches, and also the state governments, their governors, legislators, and judges, are reshaping America with changes like never before.
The following is an example of perhaps an unintended boycott of a recent high school oratorical program- a U.S. Constitutional Oratorical Contest. The American Legion- Hawaii Region recently invited local high school students to compete for college scholarships, the winner to be given a cash award and an all-expense trip to the national competition in Indianapolis, Indiana in April 2014.
On the day of the speech contest there was a no-show of 5 of the 6 contestants who were supposed to participate in this formal contest. After an embarrassing half-hour wait for others to show up, only one young man, a high school junior, an immigrant but qualified U.S. resident, gave a very articulate and impassioned speech on the American Constitution as brought forth by our founding Fathers in 1787. After that, he presented a brilliant impromptu oratorical defense of the 1st Amendment Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution– the Freedom of Speech, a topic chosen by the presiding committee.
In the audience was a panel of judges, consisting of patriots, military and professionals, educators/professors of history and speech, and a small group of interested spectators. The content and delivery of this young lone contender’s prepared and extemporaneous speeches, was outstanding and heartwarming. His valor and oratorical skills won the contest, fair and square with him taking home the scholarship money, and having a chance to compete in the national competition, a total winnings of $2,500.
This was the first time this annual activity had only ONE contestant. The organizers and also the audience, were baffled and puzzled by the absence of the other no-show contestants. Last year there were 8 contestants, with 2 dropping out at the last moment. The announcement for this February 2014 Constitutional speech contest was mailed in October 2013, giving ample time for high school teachers/leaders to encourage and prepare students to participate in this very important event which documents our nation’s roots and history.
One main point that the lone speech contestant made was that if America is a car, our government is just the engine, but it is the people who should be the drivers of the car. Thus, he said we all need to exercise our voting rights and be engaged in the political process. We need to ensure that our laws are fashioned, interpreted, and enforced by moral and responsible people we vote into office. Unfortunately, he said in the 2012 national election, only 58% of those Americans eligible to vote, did so.
Congratulations to this lone young man! America really needs more young people like this outstanding lone contender, to study and to understand the U. S. Constitution, a very important document that governs our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in our country. Young people are indeed the future and hope of our American Republic and of our nation!
Posted on March 5, 2014, in America, Uncategorized and tagged Bill of Rights, Freedom and Justice For All, Freedom of Speech, High School Oratorical Contest on U.S. Constitution, Importance of Voting, Role of Government, U.S. Constitution. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.