Garfield Langhorn's mother, Mary Langhorn, with the Garfield Langhorn Essay Winners at the Pulaski St. School.
(October 12, 2012) Garfield Langhorn was a RHS graduate who died heroically in the Vietnam War by throwing his body over a grenade to save the lives of the other soldiers near him. PFC Garfield Langhorn was posthumously awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor. His heroism and act of valor in the Vietnam War is the inspiration for the Pulaski Street School's annual sixth grade essay contest. The students came together in an assembly to hear Pulaski teacher Trevor Hewitt read an essay about PFC Langhorn and his heroism. (Video from 2011 --History of PFC Garfield Langhorn's act of heroism as presented by Trevor Hewitt)
After this introduction, the winning essays were read. According to former sixth grade teacher Maryanne Harroun (one of the contest's organizers), all sixth grade students are invited to participate in the essay contest. The theme of the contest is presented in the form of the question, "Inspired by Garfield Longhorn's actions, ask yourself 'What can a person your age do to help?'" Each year the number of entries have increased. Last year, 186 entries were submitted. This year there were 262 entries.
Below are the winning essayists and excerpts from their essays:
> Ella Malanga – Mrs. Ivin's class - "We all know Garfield Langhorn as a hero . . . Most kids my age don't realize that the smallest things can make the biggest difference. Donating your things to the less fortunate, making money for causes, helping a neighbor clean up . . . are all things I am part of that don't require a lot, other than a heart. " > Entire Essay
> Sarah Anne Fried – Mrs. Campo's class - "I can't believe such a hero graduated from Pulaski Street School. I don't know how someone can have such courage. . . As I get older, I hope to be there to serve my fellow man." > Entire Essay
> Kadarus Gainey - Mrs. Baumann's class - "One day I went to the PFC Garfield M. Langhorn post office with my mom . . . i read the story about him . . . It inspired me to think about others and not just about myself." > Entire Essay
> Honorable Mention - Stephanie Hayes – Mr. Frobey's class - "What an honor it is to attend the same school district as Garfield Langhorn . . . He should be an inspiration to everyone." >Entire Essay
Garfield's mother, Mary Langhorn, presented the three winners with a gift certificate to Target and "Bubby" Brown's book of poetry. A luncheon at the Birchwood hosted by Mrs. Langhorn for the students, their parents and Principal David Densieski followed the assembly.
As Ella Malanga so aptly stated in her essay, PFC Garfield Langhorn's heroic example can inspire us to "do our part by helping others".