FRED M. WHITAKER
The Freedom Committee of Orange County is honored and excited to offer this scholarship opportunity for college bound seniors in the NMUSD. This scholarship was established in recognition of the service and sacrifice of veterans throughout our history and in particularly, Fred M. Whitaker, whose service exemplifies the best of what it means to be a patriotic American. The Freedom Committee of Orange County is dedicated to the legacy of Fred Whitaker and all of the men and women who answer the call to service when their country needs them most. Our mission is clear and we as veterans of the American armed services see “passing the torch of liberty on to future generations” as important as service itself.
DIRECTIONS AND ESSAY PREP
Student applicants will need to do the following in preparation for writing the essay. Directions – read the short WWII Background included in this packet to familiarize yourself with this historical period. Then read the brief Fred Whitaker Personal Profile and Historical Roots section and lastly, watch the two videos linked on the following page. It is important that you reference these materials in your essay. You may find it necessary to do some independent research to increase your chances of winning this scholarship contest.
THE ESSAY PROMPT
“ USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD WAR II ERA AND THE FRED WHITAKER VIDEOS TO DISCUSS WHY MEN LIKE WHITAKER WENT TO WAR WHEN THEIR NATION CALLED ON THEM. LASTLY, DISCUSS THE BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS OF LIVING IN A FREE SOCIETY BASED ON INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND WHY SERVICE IN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH GENERATION.”
- 500 – 750 words
- Bookman Old Style 12 Font
- Single-spaced, 1″ margins
- Original, coherent writing expected
- Do not put name on the essay
- Essay must include a separate Cover Sheet
*Cover Sheet must have the following information name/address/phone#/grade/school/email
**Top Essays will include specific details on all aspects of the prompt and reference Whitaker’s speeches in relationship to the prompt.
CONTEST DATES MARCH 15 – APRIL 21
College Bound Seniors in the NMUSD
Winners’ will be notified by phone and/or email Winners’ names may be published
SUBMITTING YOUR ESSAY
By Email @ fc-oc.org
By mail @ 3465 Santa Clara Circle, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (Mail must be postmarked on or before April 22)
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS TOTALLING $5,000
One (1) First Prize of $3,500 will be awarded to the top essay and a Second Prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the runner-up. *Please Note: Proof of college admission is required before cash awards will be distributed
THE FREEDOM COMMITTEE OF ORANGE COUNTY
Is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation 501 (C) whose mission is, “Passing the Torch of Liberty on to Future Generations.”
FCOC is a Volunteer based Veterans Organization FCOC is not affiliated with any Political Party
FCOC does not endorse any Political Candidates
FRED M. WHITAKER
July 29, 1925-June 22, 2021
Fred Maynard Whitaker was an Infantry Rifleman in the U.S. Army in World War II.
He was just 17 when he enlisted in June 1943 and found himself fighting in Europe by December 1944. He was a participant in the grueling Ardennes German offensive known as The Battle of the Bulge. He also took part in the fierce fighting that surrounded the crossings of the Moselle and Rhine Rivers, as well as the other fighting that took place as the allies pushed East into Germany bringing about the end of the war in Europe.
Fred Whitaker was awarded a Purple Heart, numerous medals and foreign decorations including the French Legion of Honor – France’s highest honor. But the honors and medals are of no real importance to Fred and the others who took risks large and small during this tumultuous time in human history.
His story and the stories of millions of other Americans reflect the sacrifice and service of heroes from all across our country who answered the call when freedom and liberty needed them most and, in the process, saved democracy and the world from the dark forces that had sought to destroy it.
Fred M. Whitaker’s family tree has roots deeply embedded in the American story.
His ancestors arrived at the Plymouth Colony in 1637, witnessed the first shots of The American Revolution at Concord, fought in The Mexican American War, The Civil War, and World War I and Fred served in World War II. One family, nearly 400 years spent in the creation and defense of this great country.
Open the link below and watch Fred Whitaker’s presentation on the Battle of the Bulge (Belgium Ardennes) – *you might want to take notes as you watch as you are required to reflect on this in your essay.
Open the link below and watch Fred Whitaker’s speech on the importance of Memorial Day. * you might want to take notes as you watch as you are required to reflect on this in your essay.
WORLD WAR II BACKGROUND
During the 1930’s, dark forces in Germany and Japan embarked on a program of global domination, building huge killing machines to carry out their mission. The Japanese Empire’s invasion of China and the atrocities that followed shocked American sensibilities to the core with reports of killing, torture, and evil deeds perpetrated against Chinese civilians. Then in September of 1939, the German war machine under orders from Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and suddenly, the world was at war.By the end of 1940, the blitzkrieg had swarmed like locust across Western Europe and into the Soviet Union leaving a path of death, chaos and destruction in its wake. Yet despite this the United States, a neutral and peaceful country, held its breath and stayed on the sidelines in anticipation of what was to come. It came on December 7, 1941 when the Empire of Japan carried out a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in what President Roosevelt called, “a date that will live in infamy.”The attack resulted in the death of 2,403 American personnel, including 68 civilians, and the loss of 18 ships including 8 battleships. The United States declared war on Japan the following day and on December 11th, war was declared on Germany. The “sleeping giant’ had been woken, and was now to undergo the largest mobilization in military history, going from an armed forces of 190,000 in 1939 to over 16,000,000 by wars end. In addition, millions of Americans on the Homefront would support the troops with the weapons, ships, planes, materials and financial support needed to destroy the dark, evil forces that sought to destroy freedom and liberty on a massive scale. Indeed, as the war unfolded it was clear that if the nations of the free-world were to survive the onslaught against them, it would be up to the United States to make sure that the bells of freedom would one day ring again throughout the world.The fighting was fierce, horrific and at times unconscionable, as massive war machines embarked on programs of annihilation and liberation. The brutality of the aggressors sought to demoralize and destroy nations, humanity and people with an endless barrage that brought death from the skies and seas and into every city, town and village in Europe and Asia. In June of 1944, allied forces under the command of Dwight Eisenhower unleashed the greatest invasion by sea ever in what would be known as D-Day. What was impossible to think of only two-years earlier, was now possible and following the terrors of the Normandy landing, American troops were on the move, with the surrender of Germany the ultimate prize. In one last gasp, the German army mustered a final, massive assault against U.S. forces in what was known as , the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ and when it was over, the end was not in doubt. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered ending their quest to build the Third Reich. Across the Pacific, American forces, “island hopped’ their way to a fateful date with destiny, dropping two atomic bombs on the islands of Japan leading to Japan’s surrender on September 2, 1945 and WWII was over. In all, over 55 million people were killed, including the extermination of over 6 million European Jews and the death of over 418,000 Americans. But evil had been destroyed, democracy preserved, and in the years following the war the United States was reborn, embarking on a domestic agenda to ensure freedom and liberty to all its citizens and serve as a beacon of hope for millions around the world seeking the divine blessings of freedom and liberty.