Michael Fabricant who last month called for closer economic and political ties with the United States is now calling on all school students aged between 14 and 16 in Lichfield and Burntwood and throughout the Lichfield Parliamentary constituency to enter a competition which will enable them, and a parent or teacher, to win a free trip to Washington DC to tour the White House, Congress, and other sites in the nation’s capital. Runners up will win personal computers.
To enter, students must write an essay about the alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States during the second world war. Entries must be in by the 21st July, but schools must notify the competition organisers (so they can plan enough readers) by 16th June that they intend to participate. Detailed entry forms can be found either on the website http://www.dfee.gov.uk/usalliance or by phoning the press office at the United States Embassy on 020 7499 9000
Philip Lader, the US Ambassador, has told Michael Fabricant "Our dual aim is to honour the generation that won the war while encouraging a deeper appreciation by young people today of the great sacrifices that were made to safeguard the freedoms they now enjoy. I hope that competitors will interview their grandparents or others with personal wartime experiences to write essays on how the British-American relationship of that time affected their families, communities, and our two nations and the world".
Michael Fabricant says: "The Americans came in their thousands to Lichfield during the war. At the Army Barracks in Whittington there is a stained glass window in the chapel donated by the G.I.s who were there. The United States Army Air Force were at Fradley. There may even be some Lichfield children whose grandfathers were American soldiers or pilots who came here during the war.
"Britain and the United States share a common language, the same legal system, and a common heritage. Both our past and our future are intertwined. I think we share a common destiny. There is so much to write about and it would be great if someone from the Lichfield area won the competition."
Judges will include Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks – the director and star respectively of Saving Private Ryan which dealt with the D-Day Landings in Normandy on June 6th 1944.