The 2017 High School Essay Contest sponsored by the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is history with the winners and honorable mentions selected.

And a Superior High School 10th-grader, Lora Randa, was the top winner.

The contest was open to all high school students in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Center staff read and evaluated all of the essays and selected the top three entrants and three honorable mentions. The top essay will receive a Grand Prize of $250. A $50 cash prize is awarded to the first and second runners up. A consolation prize will be awarded to three honorable mentions.

In a historic press conference April 7, 1954, President Eisenhower alluded to a "Falling of Domino Principle" in which he explained the strategic importance of Vietnam in Southeast Asia. He related that if it fell into the hands of the communists, soon after the rest of the region would fall. This announcement laid the foundation for the United States involvement in Vietnam. Looking back some 60-plus years, the Bong Center asked students to write a short essay on whether the United States was effective in deterring the spread of communism as a result of the U.S. presence in Southeast Asia?

Randa's essay is available to read at

Other contest winners include first runner-up Adrian Ferguson, grade 11, Denfeld High School, Duluth; second runner-up Keeli Gustafson, grade 10 Denfeld High School; and honorable mentions went to Nate Swanson, grade 10, Denfeld High School, and Jake Seboe, grade 10, Lincoln High School, Esko, Minn.