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6th grader Clare Pratt wins national veterans essay contest

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is sending his congratulations to Clare Pratt, an 11-year-old Boise 6th grader at St. Mary's Catholic School, who took grand prize for her essay in the 4th annual Veterans Day Essay Contest sponsored by the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Clare's essay on the theme, "Veterans Day: Honoring Our Nation's Heroes", was chosen from approximately 800 entries nationwide, and is posted at Crapo's website,, and at the Paralyzed Veterans of America's website,

"Clare's essay is a fitting tribute to our veterans, and I am extremely proud of her," Crapo said. "Her essay notes the sacrifices made by veterans to keep our country safe and our rights as free citizens protected. Her admonition that we should celebrate veterans every day, not just once a year, is something that we should all take to heart."

As part of her grand prize, Clare and her family will be in Washington, D.C. this weekend to celebrate Veterans Day and attend the observances at Arlington National Cemetery. The Paralyzed Veterans of America began the essay and poster contests in 2003 to promote greater awareness of America's 26 million veterans. This year, approximately 1,300 total entries were received. The poster winner is Savannah Martin, a 9-year-old from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.