The SAR Magazine

Winter 2018

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

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Page 38 of 47

SPRING 2016 XX and Sgt. Sayer, Bangor; Navy: WWII, Korea and Vietnam veteran Cdr. Chaplain Glen Brown (who is 91) and Cdr. James Willis; Air Force: Vietnam veteran Col. Fred Gilbert; Coast Guard: Vietnam veteran Cdr. Robert Doughty, Past Washington SAR President and MEC Daniel Gemme; Merchant Marines: Ens. Brady Stephen and Nathaniel Gonzales, U.S. Coast Guard; POW/MIA: Capt. Alan Schrader, USN, Cdr., Kitsap. Capt. Schrader was the keynote speaker. The ceremony was closed with a benediction by Cdr. David Slater, chaplain, followed by a rifle volley and Taps. Mid-Columbia Chapter On Constitution Day, Oct. 18, 2017, Compatriots Barry Moravek and Larry Flint attended the Naturalization Ceremony at the Richland Federal Building. Twenty-nine new citizens from nine countries took the oath of American Citizenship and were sworn in by Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. The October meeting was held on Oct. 21, 2017 at the Charbonneau Senior Home in Kennewick. Fourteen people were in attendance: eight compatriots and six visitors. Moravek gave a short presentation on 17-year-old Robert G. Heft, who created the current design of the 50-star American flag in 1958 as a high school class project. For this, he received a grade of B-. His teacher agreed to raise his grade to A+ if his flag was accepted by the government. President Dwight D. Eisenhower met with Heft and accepted his design. Moravek and Flint attended the dedication of the new Veterans' Memorial at Einan's at Sunset Cemetery on Nov. 10. The Columbia River DAR Chapter also dedicated a bench from the Washington State DAR Society that overlooks the memorial, honoring the women who served yesterday, today and tomorrow. WEST VIRGINIA SOCIETY You never know what treasures might turn up when you go digging around an old building. In September 2016, a city maintenance crew was tasked with repairing drainage problems at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, built in 1931 in downtown Beckley, Raleigh County. In addition to fixing the drainage problem, the crew was to replace a deteriorated stretch of sidewalk and renovate an adjacent parking lot. The workers were surprised when their digging unearthed a rectangular granite marker with an embedded metal shield. When the stone was scrubbed clean, the shield was discovered to carry an inscription commemorating the bicentennial of George Washington's birth— Feb. 22, 1732. That anniversary occasioned a major outpouring of patriotic sentiment across the nation and the state. Congress created a bicentennial commission to encourage observations, which extended over several months. Events ranged from concerts and plays to formal addresses. A favorite way to mark the event was planting a commemorative tree, as occurred in Beckley and on the grounds of the new state Capitol in Charleston. The unearthed marker measures 12 inches by 8 inches by 8 inches, and the shield, 4 inches by 4 inches. They are artifacts of an important observation in Beckley, conducted by the Captain James Allen Chapter of the DAR. The memorial tree—an American elm—and accompanying marker were unveiled in an elaborate ceremony on the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1932. The program opened with an invocation and "The Star- Spangled Banner," played by the high school band. Rev. E. Gibson Davis, pastor of the First Baptist Church, was the sole speaker. He was followed by the recitation of Joyce Kilmer's "Trees." Members of the chapter, assisted by Boy Scout Troop 65, then planted the memorial elm. The band played "Father of the Land We Love." The ceremony concluded with a flag salute and prayer from the DAR ritual, led by the chapter chaplain. Sadly, over the intervening decades, the American elm either died or was cut down. The original marker pedestal was gradually buried in sediment or covered over. But the unearthed stone and shield were refurbished by the city work crew and remounted close to the original location. The shield is inscribed: MEMORIAL TREE; GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL; 1732-1932; CAPT. JAMES ALLEN CHAPTER; N. S. D. A. R.; REGISTERED; AMERICAN TREE ASSOCIATION. Efforts by the Raleigh County Historical Society to locate a copy of the original registration were unavailing. However, they learned from the Forest History Society in Durham, North Carolina, that the American Tree Association (ATA) was formed by Charles Lathrop Pack in 1922. Pack was a multimillionaire timberman and one of the wealthiest men in America prior to World War I. In addition to supplying products to meet military needs, he contributed to the war effort in a unique way. He organized the U.S. National War Garden Commission, which oversaw the highly successful "victory garden" program. The Forest History Society also noted, unfortunately, the ATA "seemed to fade away" immediately following Pack's death in 1937. Apparently, the records have been lost as well. On Saturday, July 15, 2017, the Captain James Allen Chapter held a rededication ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building. The program included an honor guard from American Legion Post 32, placement of memorial wreaths and a recitation of Kilmer's "Trees." Remarks were delivered by DAR state and chapter officers, WVSSAR President Bill Lester, city officials and representatives of the Raleigh County Historical Society—including a re-enactor portraying Gen. Alfred Beckley. WINTER 2018 39

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