Posted Date: 06/18/2019
COPPERAS COVE, TX (June 17, 2019)—Copperas Cove Junior High student Emma Moris won first place for her individual documentary titled Wings of Freedom: The Cuban Exodus to America in the Texas History Day regional competition. She has her sights set next year on winning the state contest and advancing to the national competition in Washington, D.C. that takes place this week.
“The Cuban Freedom Flights were a series of plane flights that brought Cubans to American in the early 1960's and 1970's. The purpose of the flights was to allow Cubans to flee communist Cuba and the persecution and oppression of its leader, Fidel Castro,” Moris said.
After receiving feedback from the judges at the regional contest, Moris took the comments to heart.
“I re-recorded sections to make the flow sound more smoothly. I also added additional information which required additional voice over work, additional pictures and editing,” Moris said. “The most significant change that was made was the addition of two primary source interviews. I originally had only one interview with Raquel Ruiz who had come to the U.S.A. on a Freedom Flight when she was just 6 years old. I loved having the first person information and decided to pursue more,”
Through a google search, Moris discovered a Cuban History Museum and made contact with two of the board members, Nicholas Guittierez, the son of Cuban Immigrants who is an attorney helping Cubans to recover lost property in Cuba, and William Muir, the museum's President, son of Cuban immigrants, a U.S. military veteran and prisoner of war during the Bay of Pigs invasion.
“Both men were able to confirm my research and enhance it with personal information and first-hand accounts. It was a pleasure and an honor to speak with them,” Moris said.
Moris has been a member of Junior Historians for three years and won 1st place in the Individual Documentary category in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She is eager to see how former CCJHS Junior Historians and now CCHS freshman William French and Justin Delgado fair at the national competition as they compete with their project, the Doolittle Raiders this week.
Meanwhile, Moris is packing her bags to move to Carlisle, Pennsylvania where her father will attend the U.S. Army War College.
“I will be sad to leave Copperas Cove. It’s my goal to continue to participate in National History Day in Pennsylvania and work towards my dream of advancing to Nationals,” Moris said. “I am passionate about history and what I can learn from it. My love of history can have a positive impact on me and on the world around me. We must understand our past so we can make our future great.”
View Moris’ documentary, Wings of Freedom: The Cuban Exodus to America, at http://bit.ly/Morisdocumentary.