Geneseo Middle School student wins DAR essay contest

Claudia Loucks
Reyhan Onder

Reyhan Onder likes history and enjoys reading about the past. That interest and her ability recently won her the Essay Contest sponsored by the Geneseo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Onder, an eighth grader at Geneseo Middle School, is a student in Jeff McAvoy’s U.S. History and Government class.

The essay topic was: “November 11, 2021, marks the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Imagine that you had a brother who lost his life on the battlefields of France during World War I. You and your family attend the Nov. 11, 1921, dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, VA. Describe what this means to you and your family. Why is it important to remember those who gave their live to serve our nation?”

Onder’s essay is currently in competition at the District Level and if she wins, she will compete at the State Level.

Fourteen-year-old Onder is the daughter of Yasemin and Seref Onder, Geneseo.

She said, “I had read a book last summer about World War II and it was a sister’s story about her brother being drafted into World War II. Reading that book was an inspiration for me.”

“I was struck by the fact that they put stars on their doors to symbolize that someone in the family had gone to fight in the War,” Onder said. ‘The star is changed to gold if the person passes away…To see that on someone’s door symbolizes to you and everyone else that someone from that house fighting for your freedom. That inspired me!”

She continued, “It is important to remember those people, whether it be a family member or a veteran you know. They are not the only ones. It takes more than one person to fight for a cause.”

“Countless people have dedicated and continue to dedicate their lives to protect our freedom,” she added.