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Essay captures national attention

Story:How exciting would it be to know your passion for writing has earned an award in all of Canada? This is what 12-year-old, Grade 7 student Katrina Laing has accomplished.
Unity student Katrina Laing displays the certificates she was awarded for the success of her essay in the Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day competitions. Her essay has been chosen as the top entry among all Canadian entries in the intermediate level.

Story:How exciting would it be to know your passion for writing has earned an award in all of Canada?

This is what 12-year-old, Grade 7 student Katrina Laing has accomplished. The entry was made in October when all poster and literary entries are made through the local Legion for the annual Remembrance Day programs.

Katrina learned that her essay had won locally, and then was also entered at the district level and won there as well. She was more surprised when she was told this essay had won best in the province.

But, imagine her excitement when she was advised this essay had earned top honours in Canada. Katrina received a letter from the provincial Legion, then a letter from the dominion president of the Royal Canadian Legion to notifyher that shehad been successful in "the Royal Canadian Legion's National Literary Contest formy age category, intermediate."

Katrina's story was about a grandfather and his grandchild standing at Juno Beach. The grandfather shared his memories of when he was only 19, approaching Juno Beach as a soldier in a Canadian boat, and what happened to him and his friends shortly after. The child cannot truly understand all the grandfather experienced, but expresses true gratitude and appreciation for his dedication and sacrifice, knowing freedom known today is owed to soldiers like the grandfather.

Although neither of her grandparents are veterans, she does spend a lot of time with them. She thought it would be heartwarming to do a story about a child and a grandfather who was a veteran, and to show how sharing his war experience brings greater understanding, appreciation and closeness to the relationship.Katrina also had read a book on Juno Beach which helped her with her research, and gaining knowledge on the events there.

Not personally having known a veteran, other than seeing the veterans at the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at the school, this makes her story just as incredible.

At thedistrict and provincial level Katrina received $ 105 in total, as well as certificates and a medal.She has not received her national awardyet, but it is forthcoming

Writing is something Katrina enjoys doing at school, as well as a hobby, writing at home.

She won third in a poster competition at the district level two years ago. Last year she won at the local level for poetry submitted for the Legion contest.

Bill Fleming, of the Unity Legion, said he was happy Katrina could come up withsuch a strong feeling ofremembrance and that he was proud of her. Both of the letters she received also congratulated Katrina on her achievement and material.

Katrina says she is honoured to be given this award. She states however, "the greatest award I could be given is the freedom I am granted every day, all due to the sacrifices of the wonderful men and women of the Legion. They are really the ones who deserve an award. I am giving some thought in terms of different ways I can give back to these veterans in the future."

Katrina has made the local Legion, as well as her school, and her parents proud.