The Arlington Historical Society, in partnership with Cherrydale-Columbia Lodge 42, is pleased to announce the 2021 student historical writing contest.

The topic for this year’s essay is the terrorist attack on the Pentagon known as 9/11. On September 11, 2001- 20 years ago – terrorists executed four devastating coordinated attacks on U.S. soil. One of these strikes occurred at the Pentagon in Arlington. How did the 9/11 attack affect Arlington? As a community, are we successfully remembering and memorializing the day?

All Grade 8-12 students in Arlington are eligible to participate. Essays will be judged by an Arlington Historical Society committee using the following criteria:

  • The essay should be written in English and be between 1,500-2,000 words
  • The essay should include background information on the 9/11 attack with a focus on the impact on Arlington and the remembrance in the county
  • The essay should be cogently written and use accepted English form for an historical essay, such as using footnotes and bibliography
  • The essay should reflect in-depth research using multiple sources. The Center for Local History at Central Library and the Arlington Historical Society websites are suggested starting points for research
  • The essay may include embedded photos with sources, but are not required
  • The essay must include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school, grade and essay title

The deadline for submission is May 21, 2021. Essays must be submitted by the end of that date to:

Essays received after this date will not be considered.

AWARDS will include the following categories:

  • 1st Place: $1,000.00. The essay will be published in The Arlington Historical Magazine in October 2021.
  • 2nd Place: $500
  • 3rd & 4th places: $250 each

One of the missions of the Arlington Historical Society is to encourage research and writing about the history of Arlington County. We hope many of you will participate, and we look forward to reading your submissions.