Thirteen students from four Smith County high schools competed in the annual Janice Caldwell Oration Contest sponsored by the Tyler Chapter, Captain William Barron, of the Sons of the American Revolution.
The contest is open to all students, grades 9-12; the oration must be original, not less than five nor more than six minutes long; subject shall deal with an event, personality or document pertaining to the Revolutionary War and must show a relationship to America today.
First place winner, Gavin Downey of Lindale High School, and second place winner Breana Mobley of John Tyler High School, will now compete with other students from across Texas this month in Houston to determine who represents Texas at the National SAR meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, in June.
Oration candidates from the Tyler Chapter have won the state contest three times and national twice in the last 10 years.
The SAR is a male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the War for Independence as a historical, educational and patriotic organization seeking to maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism, respect for our national symbols, value of American citizenship and the unifying force of "E Pluribus Unum."