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Winner of 2017 Freedom Prize Announced
Wayland Veterans Memorial 2017 Freedom Prize

The twelfth annual Wayland Veterans Memorial Freedom Prize will be presented to Wayland High School sophomore, Nathan Zhao, at the Memorial Day Ceremony, May 29, 2017 at Lakeview cemetery.  This prestigious award is given for the best essay on a topic related to freedom submitted by Wayland High School student and includes a $500 cash prize.

Nathan, son of Mr. Zhong Zhao and Mrs. Qing Zhong of Red Barn Road, chose to write on the constitutionality and consequences of voter ID laws: “Defrauding or Discriminating:” He argued convincingly that “state voter ID laws [are unconstitutional] and the challenge to them [has had and] will continue to have a profound impact on elections in the future.”

Selection of the winning essay was not immediately obvious as the judges carefully deliberated over essays on migration, travel ban, fake news and more. The strength and quality of the competition is a compliment to the efforts of the Social Studies department faculty including Kay Bassen, Sean Chase, David Gavron and Trish Halpin and ably led by Kevin Delaney.

The Wayland Veterans Memorial consists of three parts all sharing the same theme, “A Celebration of Freedom”:

1) the black granite monument at the Town Building (a place in the present to ponder on freedom)
2) the Book of Remembrance (a tribute to the past); and
3) the Freedom Prize (to engage future generations).

All funds for the Wayland Veterans Memorial were raised from private donations.