The Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola has announced an essay contest for 3rd to 12th grade students in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Students in public, private, or homeschool settings are eligible to participate. Essay flyers and entry forms are available at Essays are due by May 15 and winning essayists in each grade will be awarded a $50 gift card. Winners will be recognized at the May 26 Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola.

“During Memorial Day ceremonies, we often hear speeches about those who have ‘made the ultimate sacrifice’ but often we don’t really think about what that means,” said retired Navy Captain Lee Hansen, the foundation’s 2019 Essay Contest coordinator. “This year, we’re asking local students to write about what that phrase means, and why we should honor those who have made that sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.”

The annual essay contest is just one way the Foundation completes its mission of educating the community about the sacrifice of those memorialized in the park. The all-volunteer Foundation also hosts ceremonies for both Memorial Day and Veterans Day. They provide presentations and assistance to military groups who visit the Park during reunions and other gatherings. They raise funds to pay for the upkeep of the Park and all the monuments contained in the park.

“Of course, the members of the Foundation and volunteers also pitch in and do a lot of the work themselves,” Hansen said.

To find out how you can help support the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, or how you can participate in the Memorial Day Essay Contest, visit or contact Ms. Lee Hansen at 850-434-6119.

The Veterans Memorial Park Foundation Pensacola is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.