Archived Story

4-H essay contest winners named

Published 9:08am Wednesday, June 29, 2011

State and local officials met on Monday to honor the winners of the Dr. Fredric Rosemore 4-H Patriotism Essay Contest held in schools throughout Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale and Lawrence counties.

The essay contest was first established this year to pay homage to the memory of Dr. Fredric Rosemore who was the father of Russellville optometrist Dr. Martha Morrow.

Rosemore was a man who was fiercely loyal to his country and prided himself on being an American.

Rosemore served the United States during World War II as a B-17 navigator in the European Theater where he completed 22 combat missions. Rosemore served bravely before his aircraft was shot down behind enemy lines in Hungary and he was made a prisoner of war.

Rosemore was eventually freed and he returned home to the United States as a decorated war hero. He received the Air Medal Oak Leaf Cluster, the Presidential Unit Citation, five Battle Stars, a Prisoner of War medal and two Purple Heart awards.

Someone who went through such a terrible experience of being a prisoner of war might reasonably have contempt for the country whose cause they were defending when captured, but Rosemore never lost the pride he shared for the country he loved.

When he returned home, Rosemore desired to become a productive member of the American society so he enrolled at the Southern College of Optometry to pursue a career that would allow him to help other people, especially in underserved areas.

Rosemore went on to serve as an optometrist for 32 years before retiring, but Rosemore didn’t slow down. He went on to lead several successful businesses in his retirement because Rosemore never stopped believing in making the place he lived a better place for others.

“My father wanted young people to appreciate the freedoms we have in America,” Morrow said. “His dream was to make students realize how important those freedoms really are and my mother and I are very proud that his dream is being honored this way.”

Students who entered the contest had to write an essay about what it meant to be an American. The contest was open to 4-H students in four counties and was separated into a junior division and a senior division to make it fair for all the students who participated.

The essay contest sought to recognize the students who shared Rosemore’s pride in and love for America.

From Franklin County, Bethany Harris, a seventh grader at East Franklin Junior High, received an honorable mention in the junior division; Morgan Welch, a sixth grader from Belgreen High School, received a fourth place award in the junior division; and Shannea Flanagan, an eighth grader from Russellville Middle School, placed third in the junior division.

“I’m very touched these children wanted to participate in this contest to show their love for their country,” Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow said.

Martha Morrow added the things the students had written would have made her father proud.

“I’m thankful for every student who sat down and thought about what it meant to be an American because they did exactly what my father would have wanted them to do,” Morrow said.

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