Ruth ("Dixie") Jokinen Memorial
As a high school student, Blake Trettien wrote a letter to county commissioners asking them to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Memorial Grounds Park in Frederick, Maryland, where he lived. His letter was given by a hostile alderperson to the local Christian Coalition, and from that point, Blake was in the media hotseat. Despite hostile reaction, Blake was determined to correct this First Amendment violation and contacted the ACLU to ask them to take a lawsuit. Blake then became the primary plaintiff.
Blake, 18, was one of 11 valedictorians at Urbana High School, Frederick, Md. At the time he accepted the student activist award he was a first-year student at Johns Hopkins University.
The activist award endower, Richard Mole, was on hand to present the cash scholarship award to Blake in person on Nov. 23, 2002, at the 25th annual convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation at the Westin Horton Plaza Hotel, San Diego.
For the full speech click here
Photo by Brent Nicastro