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2016 Winner of Freedom Prize Announced
The Public Ceremonies Committee is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 Freedom Prize Essay Competition is Julia Broomer for her essay, "A Practical Approach to Defeating ISIS."

The Freedom Prize Essay Competition is one of three parts of the Wayland Veterans Memorial. All share a common theme: “A Celebration of Freedom.”

The first part is the granite monument located aside the entrance to the Wayland Town Building.  It is a place to sit and contemplate (in the present) the meaning of freedom and the sacrifices some have made to get and protect our freedoms.  The monument was dedicated on July 3, 2005.

The Book of Remembrance, the second part, was published in 2008.  It covers the past in several ways: some one hundred veteran stories, those who have served from Wayland, veterans buried in Wayland, why we fought, and much more.

The Essay Competition Is the third part.   Held annually, it addresses the future by reaching all Wayland High School students in their sophomore year.  Led by Mr. Kevin Delaney and conducted with the Social Studies faculty (Kay Bassen, Sean Chase, David Gavron, Trish Halpin and Eva Urban-Hughes), each student researches and writes an essay on a topic related to a freedom.  Well over one hundred essays are submitted each year. The faculty selects the best 10·12 essays as finalists.  A list of previous winners is available online here.

The finalist essays are numerically coded to make their authors unknown to the judges.  The judges remain unnamed but chosen from among prominent citizens. Finalists receive an award certificate on undergraduate awards day ceremony.

The Freedom Prize Winner (and parents) are notified of the selection and invited to the Memorial Day ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery.  The award is part of the ceremony and includes a framed certificate and a check for $500 as the prize.  A press release is issued for publication.  Copies of the finalist essays are placed in the Wayland High School library, the Wayland Library, and the Senior Center in the Wayland Town Building.

The Wayland Veterans Memorial has been entirely funded by privately raised money.  The surplus from the monument and sales of the Book of Remembrance has been used to endow the Freedom Prize.  The Public Ceremonies Committee is responsible for administration of the Freedom Prize.