For a while, Cynthia Shumpert’s fifth grade students at Estancia Valley Classical Academy (EVCA) in Moriarty imagined themselves back in time. For them, it was 1918, the end of World War I.

They were writing essays for the American History Essay Contest sponsored locally by the Charles Dibrell Chapter (CDC) of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). One of Shumpert’s students, Savannah Rushing, daughter of Brett and Candace Rushing of Moriarty, won the chapter essay contest, and has gone on to win the state contest. Her essay has been submitted for judging in the DAR Southwest Division which, in addition to New Mexico, includes the states of Colorado, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

Winners of the regional contests will be forwarded to the national contest for final judging. This winner will be announced at the DAR Continental Congress in Washington, DC, in June.

This year, the assigned theme was “World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars.”

Student writers were asked to imagine themselves living in 1918, to state where they are living, and how the end of the

war impacted their daily life, discussing the pros and cons of the changes the war had brought. The contest was open to students in Grades 5 through 8 in public, private, parochial and home schools.

At the state award luncheon, Savannah received a silver medal, a monetary award and a book. These were presented by Pat Barger, the New Mexico DAR American History Committee chair. The local award assembly was held at EVCA in December. At this assembly, Savannah’s classmates

received certificates of participation, and teacher Shumpert was presented with a gift certificate and a check, along with history books and history DVDs for her classroom. CDC DAR member Christie Boyer presented lapel flag pins to the essay writers and explained how to wear the flag.

Savannah’s winning essay follows:

“World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars”

By Savannah Rushing

Estancia Valley Classical Academy

5th Grade

During the war it was harsh and brutal. Many of our American soldiers died. I am Savannah Rushing, and I am twenty-six years old. After the war many changes were to come such as women being able to vote. That was because we stood up to the government saying that we deserved the right to vote. We had done the men’s jobs while they were away in war. So, why can’t we vote?

Savannah reading her essay

There is a new store called A&P. This store has everything like meat and all different types of food. I loved going to A&P because I didn’t have to go to a different store every time I needed to buy something else. I worked at A&P from 1912 to 1920, so I can pay for my house and for my food. I got my first automobile in 1918. This helped me a lot with transportation. I was running late to work almost every day. I got an automobile because of the assembly line. The assembly line made cars cheaper to buy because they were able to make more and more every day.

I ended up quitting my job and went to a driving school and became a bus driver. My wage was about $2 per day which wasn’t a lot.

Soon a very bad disease spread. It was called The Influenza. It broke out around 1918-1919. The government started isolating people to stop the disease. 40% of the Navy got the influenza during 1918-1919, and so did 36% of the Army. This was a time of suffering for most families because so many people were dying of the influenza.

During this time the people of America had seen many difficulties such as the influenza and the Great War. This has helped America form a stronger bond with its citizens during and after the Great War. Many good and bad things happened. America will become stronger because of the war and the tragedies we have faced.


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Bauer, S. W. (2005). The Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age. Ashland, OH: Manufacturing by BookMasters, Inc.

Marorstien, A. (2017). The Impact of World War I on the United States. Retrieved from