Pearl River High School students Corinna and Harrison Lin took first and second place respectively in the Rockland County American Legion Oratorical Contest.
Started in 1938, the two-part contest is designed to instill a better knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States among high school students.
In the first part, contestants prepare and deliver an 8-10 minute oration. The second part is a 3-5 minute presentation in response to a specific aspect of one of the four amendments to the Constitution, drawn and made known to the contestant five minutes before he/she is to present.
This year, the prepared oration was on some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.
Drawing examples from ancient Sparta, Athens and Rome, Harrison spoke about citizens having the right to vote at age 18 and their obligation to defend the nation through military service. Corinna discussed how obligations and duties may be inferred from the rights guaranteed to citizens and powers given to the Federal government by the Constitution.
Both Harrison and Corinna move on to the departmental level of competition in hopes of qualifying for the national level. Departmental and national winners receive scholarships ranging from $1500 to $18,000.