HomeCherry Hill NewsWorld War II mural to be added to American Legion Post 372

World War II mural to be added to American Legion Post 372

Cherry Hill West rising senior's mural submission wins for second consecutive year

Emily Liu/The Sun
Emily Davidson, rising senior at Cherry Hill West, wins the American Legion 372 first place scholarship award for the second year in a row.

For the second consecutive year, Cherry Hill West rising senior Emily Davidson’s mural submission won first place in the American Legion 372’s art contest and scholarship award. The contest was started last year after a member suggested painting the blank walks of the Legion building.

Rather than painting it themselves, they created a scholarship opportunity and last year, they gave students at Cherry Hill East, Cherry Hill West and the district’s alternative high school the opportunity to submit ideas for a World War I idea.

- Advertisement -

The theme for this year was World War II.

Davidson began painting the mural in May and is still working on it. The mural depicts three scenes, ships attacking in the blue sea, airplanes flying in the sky, and tanks on the ground in red, overlayed with an image of the famous image of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

“It’s a really iconic image from [World War II], and this was partly inspired by the fact that there’s a statue of it, of six men raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi,” she said. “The main reason I chose it is because it’s such an iconic image but also it shows the people who fought, and I think that’s the most important thing that these murals are focusing on, that it’s focusing on the people and the impact.”

It took around three weekends to think of the original design. She shared that this year, she was also pleased that her U.S. History class coincided with the timeline for designing the project, and she was able to learn about World War II before creating the mural.

Compared to last year, Davidson shared that this year’s transfer has been a lot easier.

“It’s been a lot more, ‘I know what I’m doing, and I can get right into it,’ like I wasn’t scared to put the first spark of paint on the wall,” Davidson said. ” … I definitely think I was a lot more confident in my ability to draw people specifically because of last year, with the people in the petal.”

Davidson is working with multiple mediums, like graphite and colored pencil and paint on the original design rather than just colored pencil and watercolor.

This year, the American Legion expanded the number of schools they opened the scholarship to high schools in Pennsauken, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township, Camden Catholic, Paul VI, Bishop Eustace. They let students know in September rather than in March about the contest so they could have more time to prepare.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Davidson said.

In spite of these efforts, Joe Merimonde, commander of the American Legion Post 372, was disappointed to see that the number of submissions from last year had actually decreased to five submissions total. Davidson encouraged other students to get involved and try their hand at submitting a piece for next year’s contest.

The top scholarship winner receives $1,000 and will paint their painting on the walls of the post. Second place will receive $500 and the third-place winner will receive $300. The funds will be received upon graduation, as they will be made out to the school that the artist chooses to attend.

Next year, the focus of the contest will be on the Korean War. Merimonde anticipates that the scholarship information will be available in September again.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue

Cherry Hill 1

Open Book