The Fairfax Resolves SAR and Fairfax County DAR chapters along with the Col. William Grayson and Providence CAR Societies held a Patriots Day Ceremony at the Lexington Minute Men Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery on April 19, 2017.
About 20 members and guests attended the service honoring the eight Lexington militia men who gave their lives for the cause of liberty in the Battle of Lexington, the first engagement of the Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. A moment of silence was held for each man as their name was read and a flag was placed at the memorial in their honor.
"It was an honor to remember these fallen Patriots and the ultimate sacrifice they made that we might enjoy the freedom we have today," said Jeff Thomas, President of the Fairfax Resolves chapter.
Wreaths commemorating the 242nd anniversary of the battle were presented by Fairfax Resolves SAR, Fairfax County DAR, Anne Marie Fitzhugh DAR, Col. William Grayson CAR and Providence CAR.
17 Apr 2017 Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, VA
photos by Monte Bradley, except where noted
The Thomas Jefferson Chapter joined with the Jack Jouett Chapter, NSDAR, and Peter Jefferson Society, C.A.R., to honor George Divers, who was the paymaster of the 14th Virginia of the Continental Army. He was buried next to his wife, Martha Walker Divers, and their infant son, Thomas Jefferson Divers. The Virginia SAR was represented by 1st Vice President Pat Kelley, who also participated in the Color Guard. Past Virginia SAR President Phil Williams was the master of ceremonies. The Thomas Jefferson Chapter Color Guard was augmented by color guardsmen from three other chapters: Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, and George Mason. They were joined by a member of the DAR with the DAR State Flag. Amazing Grace was played on the bag pipe by John Lowry and a 3-volley musket salute was fired, after the unveiling of the markers. A crowd of about 75 people attended the ceremony.
GEORGE DIVERS (ca 1748 – 1830)
George Divers was born about 1748, probably in Fredericksville Parish, Albemarle County, Colony of Virginia Many of the government records of that time period were destroyed in both the American Revolution and the American Civil War. Sources have not yet been found which identify his ancestors.
George is listed as a signer of the Dissenters Petition, Albemarle, Amherst and Buckingham, supporting the Declaration of Independence and disagreeing with any who would support a state church. The signers said, “to put every religious Denomination on equal Footing, to be supported by themselves, independent of one another, would not only be a just and reasonable mode of Government, but would most certainly have an happy Influence of the greater Purity of the several Churches; on their more free and friendly Intercourse with one another.” This petition was presented to the State Legislature in November, 1776.
During the American Revolution, George served as a paymaster in the 14th Regiment, Continental Army which was formed in Virginia in 1777.
In 1785 George purchased ‘Farmington’ from the family of Francis Jerdone, Sr. He became a merchant and an avid farmer. Farmington was said to have been the seed nursery for Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson would bring seeds and plants from his travels. He then gave them to George to nuture. George maintained three huge, brick-walled gardens in which he experimented with a large variety of plants and seeds. One of the favorite neighborhood activities was to see who would harvest spring peas first; the winner hosted a neighborhood dinner. That dinner was usually held at Farmington.
George and Mr. Jefferson, became interested in raising sheep for their wool and meat. Up to this time, sheep were mostly raised for manure for fertilizer. The meat and wool were of poorer quality, so they were used to feed and clothe the slave population on the plantation. However, Jefferson had come home from Europe with tales of sheep whose wool was so fine that a pair of socks made from it could cost as much as a guinea a pair ($300). He and George began obtaining more exotic animals from Scotland, Spain and Tunis which had this fine wool or higher quality meat.
Because George and Martha had no children who lived to become adults, George willed the property to nieces and nephews of Martha. One story told of them is that one nephew, in particular, named Isaac White, they had never met. When a young man appeared claiming to be said Isaac White, a ball was held in his honor. The young man was given a gold watch. He proved to be an imposter when the real Isaac White arrived!
George died at Farmington in 1830 – a year after his wife, Martha. His obituary states, ‘In his death, society at large and a widely extended circle of friends and connections have sustained a loss deeply to be deplored. Society, at large, because he was a public benefactor by his example and his worth; and his friends and connexions because they have felt his kindness and know his charity.’
Many Virginia SAR compatriots are qualified for Color Guard Medals that they have not received. Please read this carefully, and if you think you have earned a Color Guard Medal that you have not received, contact your Chapter Color Guard Commander, or State Color Guard Commander as appropriate.
Guidance for the Color Guard Medals is published in both the SAR Handbook, Volume V, and the NSSAR Color Guard Handbook. Virginia uses the Event System for Color Guard Medals.
State qualifying service for a year is participation in 50% of the scheduled state color guard events for any 365/6 consecutive days. Three, non-overlapping years of such service qualify for the award of this medal. A letter from the color guardsman to the State Color Guard Commander, listing his qualifying service events, is required. If the Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander confirms the qualifying service he will report this to the Virginia SAR Awards Committee Chairman who will arrange for the presentation of the Bronze Color Guard Medal at a state function.
The Bronze Color Guard Medal is awarded only once, at either the Chapter or State level.
The Bronze Color Guard Medal must be awarded before the Silver Color Guard Medal will be approved, but the three year periods for each medal can run concurrently. If you are attending National/District and State/Chapter events it is possible to qualify for both medals nearly simultaneously. One restriction is that if an event can count for either National or State, it must be counted for state until the Bronze Color Guard Medal is awarded. The events that are both National and State are the 4 National Events in Virginia (Crossing of the Dan, Martin's Station, Yorktown, and Great Bridge) and the Annual Meeting with the PG attending.
If a color guardsman continues to be active for 5 years after receiving the Silver Color Guard Medal, he may qualify for the von Steuben Medal. Criteria for this award is found in the handbooks.
Also, after receiving the Silver Color Guard Medal, a color guardsman is eligible to be nominated for Color Guardsman of the Year. The Color Guardsman of the Year receives the Color Guard Gold Medal, and carries the US Flag at all national events in which he participates for the following year.
If qualified, but do not have a medal, let's start the approval process
And don't forget the woman in your life for the Molly Pitcher Medal!
If you are not qualified, get active.
If you are not a member of the Color Guard, join!
The biggest reward is a great time with great people.
15 Apr 2017 Graves' Mountain Lodge, Syria, VA
Today 40 compatriots from 9 chapters and 27 guests gathered at Graves' Mountain Lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy a beautiful spring day and SAR camaraderie. Virginia SAR President Mike Elston was the guest of honor. The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter organized the gathering and members of the following chapters attended: Colonel Fielding Lewis, Colonel James Wood, II, Colonel William Grayson, Fincastle Resoltions, Fort Harrison, General Daniel Morgan, George Washington, 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-Elect of the Virginia C.A.R., Emily Elston; Historian of the Virginia C.A.R., Will Elston; Regent of the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter, NSDAR, Mary Ann Cowherd; and Regent of the Fauquier Court House Chapter, NSDAR, Cat Schwetke.
After the social time, the attendees gathered in the Main Dinning Room for the program. Edmund Davidson, President of the General Daniel Morgan Chapter, was the Master of Ceremonies. Chaplain Roy Martain 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, the OFPA Flag, and the flags of six of the participating chapters, all carried by uniformed color guardsmen. The color guard was led by Mike Taimi, dressed as his ancestor, a sailor in the Continental Navy.
Next Edmund Davidson introduced the distinguished guests, who in addition to Virginia President Mike Elston, included 8 other Virginia SAR officers.
Next, the presidents of each of the 7 primary chapters, and President Mike Elston, gave brief remarks. The chapter presidents spoke in the order of their chapters date of charter.
After a blessing by Virginia SAR Chaplain Roy Martin, a family stye lunch was served.
With the approval of a motion to adjourn, the meeting was closed for 2017.
13 Apr 2017 Washington, DC
In honor of Thomas Jefferson's 274th Birthday a ceremony was held at the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The Virginia SAR Delegation was led by President Mike Elston and included six compatriots from four chapters: Col James Wood, II, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, and George Washington. This event was hosted by the DC Society.
12 Apr 2017 Halifax, NC
photos by Thomas Nelson, Jr. Chapter Past President Bruce Meyer and others furnished by the Halifax Chapter of the North Carolina Society.
241 years ago today the 4th North Carolina Provincial Congress met in Halifax, NC and there adopted a declaration that the 13 Colonies should become independent of Great Britain, known as the Halifax Resolves. The Virginia SAR contingent to the ceremony was led by 3rd Vice President Bill Schwetke, and included four members from four chapters: Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Dan River, and Thomas Nelson, Jr. The NSSAR was represented by Secretary General Larry Guzy.
Salutes at the wreath presentations
report by James Monroe Chapter President Charles Belfield
Friday night, April 7th, a combined color guard from the War of 1812 Society of Virginia and the James Monroe Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, participated in the opening program for the Richmond County League . The guard consisted of George Becket, Bart Morison, Charles Belfield and Hugh Markham. Saturday the same color guard participated in the Little League opening program for the Northumberland County . Saturday the color guard was joined by Mike Lyman as they presented the Colors and fired the opening shot to signal play ball. In the two events the color guard performed before over 1000 children, parents and grandparents.
report submitted by Col George Waller Chapter President Bob Vogler
On Saturday, April 8, members of the Colonel George Waller Chapter participated in a living history encampment at the Spencer-Penn Centre's spring BBQ festival in Spencer, VA. It also awarded the Bronze Good Citizenship Medal to the director of the S-PC Mary Jordan for her work establishing it as a cultural & community center for western Henry County.
Many of you are qualified for the Patriot Grave Marking Medal here's how to receive it.
The Patriot Grave Marking Medal is presented to compatriots who have participated in marking 15 patriot graves on or after March 1, 2011. The award of the medal is approved by the NSSAR Patriot Index/Revolutionary War Graves Register Committee. If you believe that you have qualified for this medal, complete the Grave Marking Medal Reporting Form and submit it to the Virginia War Graves Committee. After approval by the Virginia War Graves Committee the form is forwarded to the Virginia SAR President for approval, then to the NSSAR Patriot Index/Revolutionary War Graves Register Committee. After approval the medal will be presented by the State Society.. The specific criteria can be found in the NSSAR Handbook, Volume V, page 16, but just completing the form will satisfy the requirements. If more than 5 graves are marked in one ceremony, only 5 graves can be counted.
Participation can be as simple as contributing money for the grave marking, or participating in the program. The one exception is that the Color Guard does not receive grave marking credit. However, members of the Color Guard who participate in a musket volley do receive credit.
Even if you have never participated in a grave marking before, volunteer to hand out programs, present a wreath, or contribute money at the 4 events on our calendar listed below, and you are only 1 grave short of qualifying for the medal: