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Washington-Lee Junior Designs Winning Arlington County Car Decal

The soon-to-be commissioned USS Arlington was the theme for this year's contest.

The 2013-14 Arlington County vehicle decal will feature a depiction of the USS Arlington with an American flag superimposed over it.

Ben Jenks, a Washington-Lee High School junior who designed the graphic, was announced as the winner of the county's annual decal competition Tuesday before the Arlington County Board.

Arlington County Treasurer Frank O'Leary, who is on the USS Arlington Commissioning Committee, chose the ship as the theme for this year's design. The vessel is in line to be commissioned in Norfolk in April.

"This decal will be a fine inspiration to the sailors and Marines that will be on board our ship, the USS Arlington," O’Leary said in a statement. "It will also be a fitting tribute to those who died and those who served so heroically on 9/11."

Nearly 2,100 votes were cast online and by mail over six weeks for the four finalists in this year's competition. Twenty-three Arlington high school students submitted potential designs this year — a tradition since 2005 started by the Treasurer's Office.

The other finalists, all juniors, were Wakefield High School students Kira Tucker and Isabel George and Washington-Lee student Ben Tobin.

Jenks' design will adorn more than 155,000 vehicles.

The Arlington is one of three Navy vessels named in honor of those who died and the first-responders who served on 9/11.

Arlington County has required local licensing of vehicles since 1949, at first in the form of a metal tag attached to a license plate. The county switched to decals in 1967.

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