McLean High School senior Saehee Perez on Jan. 22 won the American Legion’s 17th District oratory contest at Post 270 in McLean.
Perez beat three other contestants who, like her, had won contests at their local American Legion posts.
Under the direction of master of ceremonies Jeff White, each contestant delivered a prepared oration on the U.S. Constitution, with special emphasis on the duties and responsibilities of American citizenship, as well as an oration on a randomly assigned constitutional topic.
This year’s random topic was on the 14th Amendment, Section 1, of the Constitution, which states that everyone born in the U.S. automatically is an American citizen.
Perez impressed the judges with a speech titled “A New Generation!”, which argued that each generation seems to have a different interpretation of the Constitution, and that more civics education is needed in school.
Taking second place in the Post 270 contest was Lake Braddock Secondary School sophomore Ella Ridgeway, who gave a speech on the evolution of citizens’ rights after passage of the 14th Amendment.
Perez now will compete against winners from other Northern Virginia districts in the Northern Regional Oratory Contest in Stafford on Feb. 25.
Since 1938, the American Legion High School Oratorical Program has encouraged the nation’s high-school students to study the U.S. Constitution and hone their public-speaking skills.
For more information, visit www.legion.org/oratorical.