Speeches by President John F. Kennedy were in the air at the Youth Oratory Competition on Veterans Day in the Union Museum of History and Art in Farmerville. Five local youth ages 12 to 19 delivered ten-minute versions of inspiring JFK speeches that dwelled on the themes of patriotism, courage, and honor.
Earning top honors in the age 12-16 division were Luke Easley, first place, and Jayce Lee, second. Garrett Lee won first place in the older age division. Other competitors were Chloe Jackson and Kaylee Ann Weldon. “We admire all these young people for stepping forward to voice the lofty rhetoric of President Kennedy, who was a decorated World War II veteran,” says Jean Jones, museum programs director. “We applaud their pursuit of excellence and anticipate great futures for all these young competitors.”
Judges for the competition were Dr. Megan Smith, Louisiana Tech University Debate Team Coach; Mike LeBlanc and Kara Mathis, School of Communication, Louisiana Tech; and Michellie Martin, U.S. Communications Manager, the Drax Corp.
This event was in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit, “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times,” on loan from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois. The exhibit, which ends November 30, is in observance of the 60th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.