Senior high school students in Western New York are invited to participate in next year's War of 1812 speech and art competition, as part of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights. Events are scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 12-14, 2012.
"This an open invitation for our future leaders to engage in one of the most unique and exciting educational opportunities Western New York has ever hosted," said Lee Simonson, a volunteer organizer. "It's a tremendous opportunity for our best and brightest to come together during the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and interpret our history through speech and art. There will also be scholarship prizes."
Interested schools or students are welcomed to send an email to [email protected] to submit their name on a list for program information and updates.
Selected middle school students also will be able to become "living history" interns, and fourth- and fifth-graders will attend the re-enactment on field trips. Hundreds of re-enactors from around the U.S. and Canada will converge on Lewiston, and Queenston, Ontario, to commemorate the famous battle on the actual anniversary dates.
Simonson noted half of the American army was sent to Lewiston to invade British-Canada in an attempt to get a foothold on Canada and drive the British out of North America. Even though the Americans killed British Gen. Isaac Brock, the British won a decisive victory and more than 1,000 American soldiers were taken prisoner. Historian Donald Hickey calls the Battle of Queenston Heights, "The most significant battle in the first year of the War of 1812," Simonson added.