Two things have driven Mike Dillman since he set the stage for the first Not Forgotten Memorial Weekend Commemoration event in Manteca 16 years ago: Making sure we never forget the sacrifices made to secure our freedoms and helping young people appreciate that price.
Honoring the memory of the fallen and thanking those that made it back from war to help them heal has been a relatively easy task to pursue although it takes a lot of work and commitment by a small army of volunteers.
What has been more elusive is trying to impress on many young people the “extravagant price” that freedom carries.
The Not Forgotten committee has purposely over the years designed kid friendly activities as part of the Memorial Day Weekend gathering at Woodward Park in addition to the placing of 7,000 plus crosses to represent the fallen in the Global War on Terror and other activities.
There has been a strong involvement of JROTC students as well. Dillman, though, is not sure that the message is reaching enough young people.
That is why Dillman said he is “thrilled” about the latest Not Forgotten venture — The Extravagant Cost of Freedom essay scholarship contest.
It is open to every 2016 graduating high school student that lives in San Joaquin County.
There are three scholarships being offered. One of $1,000 for first place being provided by Teichert Construction, one of $750 for second place provided by NuCal Foods, and one of $250 for third place provided by Manteca Morning Rotary.
Students are required to submit a 500-word essay on the topic of freedom. Specifically the essay should provide a perspective on the extravagant cost of freedom, why it is important to the student, and what sacrifices are made to protect the freedom of citizens.
Technical details include the use of a 12-point Times Roman font and double spacing with one-inch margins.
All submissions must be postmarked on or before May 9.
For information email or call Sarah Almquist at the San Joaquin County Office of Education at email@example.com or call 209.468.4802.