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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois


Arlene Holtgrave

Important Information:

The Department of Illinois Americanism Essay 2021 “How To Promote Old-Fashioned Patriotism While Recognizing Where We Have Fallen Short” awards will be presented at Department convention. My personal awards for 2020 and 2021 will also be awarded.

District Presidents please take the information for the number of essays and the Unit name and number and please email, US mail or call/text (please leave a message) with this information for the awards. Unit Presidents or Unit Americanism Chairman I will accept this information from you, just to make sure I get it. I know a lot of schools did not participate this year because of COVID, but please those who did, let’s give them credit.

Thank you all! Till next time… STAY SAFE, STAY HEALTHY and GOD BLESS AMERICA


Last year ended strangely, if you want to call it ended, I like to think we just floated into the new year as a continuation. One result of the Coronavirus is we are all making History.

The Americanism essay contest this year, 2021, is “How to Promote Old-Fashioned Patriotism While Recognizing Where We Have Fallen Short”. All dates and information are in the brochure. Please use/read the brochure. Be sure you give one to the teachers at the schools and to your judges. There is information called BASES FOR JUDGING, in blue print, in the brochure that is very helpful. 

The American Legion, Department of Illinois, ORATORICAL CONTEST will be March 5-6, 2021, in Springfield, IL at the Crown Plaza—Springfield. This is a very educational experience. And the experience and awards are phenomenal!

All the brochures can be obtained through the Auxiliary and Legion Department office, by phone or email or US mail. They can also be found on line: for the Auxiliary and My info is the same as last year…

This year the YEAR END REPORT question #6 will have 2-part question asking each Unit “How many Americanism Essay Contest Entries did you receive for 2020” and 2nd part how many for 2021. This is due mostly because of the awards for last year were not presented due to COVID 19 and the cancelation of department convention. Please answer this year! I really would like to give my personal award for both years.

I googled YOU TUBE the other day just to see what was on it about our American Flag and related items. “Pledge of Allegiance” word-by-word meaning explained by Red Skelton is still interesting, very meaningful. There are two “Stars Spangled Banner” as You’ve Never Heard It. I recommend you listen to both. The explanation of what happen are different but the end results are the same… THE AMERICAN FLAG WAS STILL STANDING…FLYING HIGH. That is what we need to do today and every day… support AMERICA! Land of the free because of the brave!
Stay healthy and safe! Till next time….

Arlene Holtgrave, Department of Illinois Americanism Chairman

2020 Americanism Essay Winners: "What Can I Do to Unite Our Country?"

Class 1 - 7th and 8th Grade
1st Place: Peyton Bryson, 8th grade, 2nd Division, 12th District, Unit 33
2nd Place: Gabriella Marceille, 8th grade, 1st Division, 8th District, Unit 854
3rd Place: Annalise Mourey, 7th grade, 5th Division, 24th District , Post/Unit 176
4th Place: Madison Shields, 7th grade, 3rd Division, 16th District, Post 35
5th Place: Ashlee Freeman, 8th grade, 4th Division, 18th District, Post/Unit 432
Class 2 - 9th and 10th Grade
1st Place: Deanna Auxier, 9th grade, 4th Division, 18th District, Unit 432
2nd Place: Carli Merritt, 9th grade, 5th Division, 23rd District, Unit 423
3rd Place: Kalab Kock, 10th grade, 1st Division, 9th District, Unit 690
4th Place: Kyline Willmon, 9th grade, 3rd Division, 16th District, Post 35
5th Place: Jayden Forth, 10th grade, 2nd Division, 13th District, Post 67
Class 3 - 11th - 12th Grade
1st Place: Kenna R. Howorth, 12th grade, 1st Division, 5th District, Unit 1942
2nd Place: Jordan W. Rouse, 12th grade, 3rd Division, 14th District, Post 6
3rd Place: Sophie Whitten, 12th grade, 5th Division, 23rd District, Unit 95
4th Place: Jessica Schrag, 12th grade, 2nd Division, 10th District, Post 329
5th Place: Izzy Pruitt, 12th grade, 4th Division, 21st District, Post 759

Resources from National

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Department Resources

2021 Americanism Essay Contest 2021 Legion Oratorical Contest 

Helpful Weblinks