5 May 2018 Graves' Mountain Lodge, Syria VA
some pictures courtesy of Jennifer Kelly and Suzan Hamill
Today 36 compatriots from 7 chapters and 17 guests gathered at Graves' Mountain Lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Madison County to enjoy a beautiful spring day and SAR camaraderie. Virginia SAR President Pat Kelly was the guest of honor. The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter organized the gathering and members of the following chapters attended: Colonel James Wood, II, Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fort Harrison, General Daniel Morgan, George Mason, and Thomas Jefferson. Dignitaries from other organizations who honored us included: the Secretary of the Virginia Society, Order of Founders and Patriots, Doug Graves; President of the Virginia C.A.R., Molly McCue; and Regent of the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter, NSDAR, Mary Ann Cowherd.
Prior to the social time, a ceremony was conducted to gather and bless Virginia Soil to be spread on the mass grave of Virginians at Waxhaws, SC. Tom Hamill, President of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, conducted the ceremony; Dale Corey, President of the Colonel William Grayson Chapter collected the soil; and Father Henry Minich of the Thomas Jefferson Chapter blessed the soil. Virginia SAR President Pat Kelly took charge of the soil and will take it to the Commemoration of the Battle of Waxhaws on May 26th, where he will spread the Virginia Soil on the mass grave. At Waxhaws President Kelly will be escorted by Tom Hamill and Bill Schwetke, both of whom participated in today's ceremony.
Father Minich's Blessing of the Soil
After the social time, the attendees gathered in the Main Dinning Room for the program. Mike Taimi, President of the Colonel William Grayson Chapter, was the Master of Ceremonies, aided by his chapter Secretary, Mike Weyler, who filled in while Mike Taimi participated in the Color Guard. Father Henry Minich began the meeting with a benediction, the colors were advanced, the pledges said, and the colors posted. The flags included the US. Flag, the Virginia Flag, The Virginia SAR Flag, and the flags of the six participating chapters, all carried by uniformed color guardsmen.
Next Mike Taimi introduced the distinguished guests, who in addition to Virginia President Pat Kelly, included 3 other Virginia SAR officers.
Next, the presidents or their representatives of each of the 6 primary chapters, and President Pat Kelly, gave brief remarks. The chapter presidents spoke in the order of their chapters date of charter.
After the chapter remarks, President Pat Kelly brought greetings from the Virginia Society to the gathering.
Next, President Molly McCue of the Virginia Children of the American Revolution, gave a presentation on her presidential initiative.
After a great lunch, President Pat Kelly gave the keynote address, a revealing look at the Revolutionary War on the Western Frontier of Virginia.
Master of Ceremonies Mike Taimi presented a check to President Kelly, from the six chapter attending today, made our to the 1st Virginia Regiment in President Kelly's name, for his initiative to support the 116th Infantry Regiment Museum.