February 25, 2013
It's not everyday that you get to represent your state at a big event, but Charlottesville High School's own Chris Hays represented Virginia in a big way.
As a freshman at CHS, Chris was chosen to represent the state at the National WWII Museum's "Salute to Freedom" awards ceremony.
While there, he was one of 51 students nationwide that participated in the grand opening of the museum's new Boeing Center in New Orleans.
"I felt really honored," says Hays. "Learning about something isn't at all like talking to someone who has been there and so I really got an opportunity to hear it from someone who was there."
Hays was honored to represent Virginia and learned a lot while he was at the museum. One thing he gained while there was a new perspective.
"The veteran was really the best part for me, just talking to him," says Hays. "You really gain a perspective of what's it like to be a veteran in World War two."
Chris was chosen to represent Virginia after he wrote an essay for National History Day. He wasn't the only one excited about his opportunity. His mother actually spoke about his success.
"It's wonderful!" says Hays' mother Allison Ewing. "He got there because his interest in history and the paper he wrote. Then to reinforce the stories that he's reading, the writing he's doing with the actual experience is really wonderful for him."
Hays says this is an experience he will take with him throughout life.