LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – A student from St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School in Lufkin won second place in the 2022 National Stamp Design Competition, according to school officials.

Oscar Cruz, a freshman student, was recognized during the Term 3 Awards Ceremony at the school on March 30.

Joan Ragland, the State Junior American Citizens Chair (JAC) and Kim Slack the JAC Chair for Angelina County and Regent of the Anthony Smith Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) gave the student his medal.

The Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored the stamp contest. Ragland and Slack said they were excited that Lufkin won.

The theme for the stamp competition was “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” This is a significant memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1921, the memorial has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members and other unknown service members from later wars.

Cruz said he designed his stamp after he saw a photograph of a soldier guarding the memorial.

“When we first looked up the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we watched a video of them guarding it,” he said. “I found a picture of a soldier walking a different way and guarding it, but the leaves were off, and it was the realistic version, too. That’s what technically inspired me to make the soldier walking and guarding the tomb. With the trees and the sunset, I said to myself that it would be pretty cool if it was a sunset and while everything else was with greenish (leaves and) trees.”

Cruz also said he did not think he would make it to nationals, but he was proud and surprised.

“I’m shocked and happy,” he said.

This was the first time St. Cyprian’s students entered the stamp competition.

Other students were also recognized during the contest at the regional level such as:

Cendall Phillips, 1st Place – 7th Grade

Lam Nguyen, 2nd Place – 8th Grade

Araiyah Briggs, 3rd Place – 6th Grade

Students Alex Tiu, Isabella Wright, Tripp Zeleskey, and Isaac Frankens received DAR Youth Citizenship Awards. The honor is given to people who are leaders, help their community and demonstrate patriotism in their homes and schools.

Slack encouraged students to continue “loving our country, being a good citizen, researching history, and being proud to be an American.”