"My 9-11 Hero"
Gene Gentile Essay Writing Contest


The essay contest serves as inspiration for local students to strengthen their appreciation of the historical importance of the events of September 11th, 2001.


All 6th - 8th grade students (school year 2022-23) in North Pinellas are eligible to submit an essay.

Students must submit an original essay on the following topic:        
“My 9/11 Hero”
Your selected hero can be someone you know personally or may be someone you research.
Essays will be judged on the following essay criteria:
    •    Focus: A clear, controlling idea, that is strongly supported throughout the essay.
    •    Development: The response is thorough and meets the length requirement (500-700 words).
    •    Organization: The paragraphs and sentences are effectively structured.

Judging will be performed anonymously by the Palm Harbor 9/11 Memorial Event Committee.
    •    Originality: the essay provides a thoughtful, original reflection.
    •    Conventions: proper use of standard English grammar is followed.
    •    Format:
            •    Essays must include a cover sheet which includes student’s first and last name, age, grade level,
                  school name, email address, and telephone number.
            •    Font should be 12-point, Times New Roman, and the paper is double-spaced.
            •    Sources (if used) are credited using MLA format.
    •    Deadline for essay submission is Wednesday, September 1st, at 5:00 p.m.
        Essays received after the deadline date will not be considered.
    •    Delivery: Essays may be submitted electronically or hand-delivered    
            •    Electronic delivery: [email protected]
            •    Hand-delivery: Palm Harbor Fire Rescue, 250 West Lake Road,
                Palm Harbor, FL 34684

Winners will be notified by September 9, 2022.
    • First Place - $500.00  • Second Place - $250.00

The Palm Harbor 9/11 Memorial Event Committee is comprised of local volunteers who are passionate about ensuring people never forget the tragedies of 9/11/01. Each year, the committee holds a memorial event on September 11th at the Curlew Hills Memory Gardens 9/11 Memorial. 

The 2020 event will be held digitally. The one-of-a-kind memorial at Curlew Hills has a 150-pound piece of rusted steel beam, once part of the World Trade Center Towers, as its focal point. The memorial is constructed with 30 tons of American granite and features an eternal flame at its base. Please visit CurlewHills.com for further information and pictures from previous 9/11 events. 


For further information or questions, please contact Liz Graham at 727.784.0454

or [email protected]