Oregon City High School senior wins peace scholarship
Corey Griffis, a senior at Oregon City High School, won a $750 scholarship as one of the winners of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility's 10th annual Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship.
Griffis, Anisha Arcot of West Linn High School, and Trevor Moler of Tigard Senior High School were selected as the three top winners from among 208 entries submitted by high school juniors and seniors across the state. They received their scholarships at an awards ceremony Saturday, April 28, at the First Unitarian Church in Portland.
In order to enter the contest, the high school students wrote essays, poems or stories responding to the prompt, "What would it take to eliminate nuclear weapons in your lifetime?"
In his essay, Griffis retold the history behind the U.S. decision to bomb Japanese civilians in 1945.
"Rehashing the motivations and moral principles behind the original advent and proliferation of nuclear weapons will not beckon a solution," Griffis wrote. "Yet it cannot be denied that fear is at the core of nuclear armament. Individual nations continue to hold nuclear weapons out of fear of other holders, and prospective new holders develop them out of fear of current holders — thus creating more fear."
Someone has to break this cycle, Griffis wrote, "it will take an act of great courage — an act of unilateral denuclearization, destined to be denounced as foolish or idealistic by many — to initiate such a departure from the ouroboros of nuclear armament. But once we have beaten our swords into ploughshares and unshackled ourselves from fear, we will wonder why it was that we ever felt or made it necessary to forge such pointed irons to begin with."