The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center announced the 2017-18 Middle School Essay Contest winners.

This year the center asked the students: "As a young person coming of age at this time, what do you think America's role as the "Arsenal of Democracy" should be both at home and abroad?"

The winners and honorable mentions were chosen from scores of entries.

"All of the entries received were amazing, it was very hard to narrow down to the winners" said John Gidley, Bong Center education and outreach coordinator.

The contest was open to all middle school students in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Center staff read and evaluated each entry and selected three winning essays to receive the $50 prize.

Sigrid Miller of Washburn Middle School in Wisconsin won the eighth grade division for her essay, "America's Role in a Changing World." Beverly Martinez of Washburn Middle School won the seventh grade division for "Arsenal of Democracy" and Kaitlyn Boss of Hayward Middle School took the sixth grade division for an essay also entitled "Arsenal of Democracy." All of the student's essays are available at

Six honorable mentions were also selected and will receive consolation prizes. They include sixth-graders Lillian Poskosim of Cathedral Middle School in Superior and Nora Skoraczewski of Drummond Elementary School; seventh graders Sandra Blong and Cameron Schmidt of Washburn Middle School; and eighth-graders Ethan Cadotte and Leah Hawbaker of Washburn Middle School.

The Bong Center is now accepting essays in the high school essay contest. For information, go to