A pair of Newberg students who also happen to be siblings have been recognized for their skill as essayists on American history for an annual Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) contest in Yamhill County as well as at the state level.
Ainsley Voeller and Alaina Voeller were recognized by the DAR in early March as county and state winners of the organization's annual American History Essay Contest. Both are students at Country Faith Christian Academy, a small school connected to Grace Baptist Church in Newberg. Ainsley is a fifth-grade student, while her older sister is in seventh grade.
The girls penned essays on the Boston Massacre after being charged by the DAR with imagining they were living in Boston and witnessing the events of that fateful day, March 5, 1770, which served as an impetus for the American Revolution. The DAR also required the youths to describe in their essays "their family's discussions about the event and what role it played in organizing the colonists against the British King and parliament," according to a release.
"Anna and I were on our way home when we heard yelling at the old bell tower," Ainsley wrote in her essay. "Curious, we peeked our heads around the corner just in time to see a soldier push a boy down to the ground. … Just then a large mob rounded the corner and the only thing they saw was a boy being pushed by a soldier. The mob surrounded the soldier while Anna rushed off to get Captain Thomas Preston, who soon returned with soldiers. They marched up to get the soldier but were blocked by the mob. The mob chucked stones and mocked the soldiers, yelling 'Fire!' 'Fire if you dare, cowards!' 'Fire!' Suddenly, someone fired."
Not to be outdone by her younger sister, Alaina wrote: "Recalling my parents' hushed whispers, I knew the British were forcing taxes on us when we had no say in the matter. Our leaders wanted representation in Parliament, to have a voice in the decisions that directly affected our people. For two years, thousands of British soldiers roamed the streets of Boston, their menacing presence a constant reminder of their overreaching authority."
The girls were honored March 10 at a Yamhill Chapter DAR meeting, where each was presented with winners' certificates, a bronze Excellence in History medal and a check for $100.
In addition, they also received awards, medals and $100 checks from the Oregon State Regent of the DAR, Donna Dial, and the organization's state chairwoman of American history, Mary Parrott.
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