HANNIBAL | Four high school students in Zone 1 of the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest gave speeches focusing on the Constitution on Sunday, Jan. 19, in their zone contest at the American Legion Hall in Hannibal. Each had previously won their county and district contests.
Andrew Moore, a high school senior from Kahoka, Mo., won first place in the zone contest, qualifying to compete in the state event on Feb. 23 in Ashland, Mo. The state winner will advance to the national contest in Indianapolis, Ind.
Moore said his speech, “Liberty or Death,” “discusses the Constitution and how the idea of liberty is entwined with the Constitution.” His message is: “It is most important how our generation should preserve liberty.” He included Patrick Henry's “Give me liberty or give me death” quote and told “how the idea of liberty inspired the Revolutionary War.”
Moore outlined two major ways to preserve liberty: “Know what our rights are and hold accountable those who protect them.”
Moore has hopes of winning the state contest this year, after taking second place in state in 2019. His speech will be a longer version of the one he gave in Hannibal, Moore said, because the zone contest is a five- to six-minute speech, but the state contest is eight to 10 minutes.
Moore's future plans are to attend Mizzou to study agricultural business policy. His family has a beef cattle farm with a cow-calf operation at Kahoka. Explaining he is very active in FFA, Moore said he is vice president of the Missouri FFA.
Uma Upamaka, a high school senior from St. Charles, Mo., took second place in Saturday’s oratorical competition. Her speech featured the words, “We the People.” Thinking about them, she said, “can lead us to be better citizens and tell us what the Constitution can do for us, if we uphold it.” She plans to become a doctor, with the goal of being a neurologist.
Emma Price of Camdenton, Mo., took third place. Her speech, “The Document of the People,” emphasized that “the Constitution requires every citizen to participate in their government and their community.” A high school junior, Price plans to study engineering or computer science at MIT.
Madelyn Wilford, a high school senior from Laredo, Mo., finished in fourth place. She said her speech reminded people that “voting is a civic duty, which I think is important for everyone to do.” She is glad she will be old enough to vote in June. Her goal is to become a science teacher, and she plans to attend Mizzou.
Co-chairmen of the zone contest were Bob Ravenscraft of Palmyra and Larry DuFour of St. Peters.
After announcing the results, they introduced the zone contest judges.
They explained Missouri has four zones for this event, so the state contest also will have four contestants.