30 May 2016 Washington, DC
report by Mike Elston, Virginia SAR 1st Vice President
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution today honored the hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion to our country in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present by marching in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. This was the SAR's 12th consecutive appearance in the parade. Led by Secretary General Mike Tomme of Georgia, the 39-member SAR unit included members from seven states and France. Chancellor General Davis Wright, Vice President General Michael Elston, Virginia SAR President Ed Truslow, past Virginia SAR Presidents Reverdy Wright, Don Reynolds and Larry McKinley, New Hampshire SAR President Brian Anderson, past New Hampshire SAR President Hans Jackson, and past Pennsylvania SAR President Ernie Sutton were joined by C.A.R. dignitaries, including National President Connor Jackson, Virginia C.A.R. State President Alex Slaughter, and Senior National Vice President for the Mid-Southern Region Rebecca Slaughter. The color guard was ably led by Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander Darrin Schmidt. Twenty-three people received the National Memorial Day Parade Medal for their participation. Overcast and 80 degrees was perfect marching weather, and a good time was had by all! Thank you to the George Washington Chapter, Virginia SAR, and its president, Greg Bodge, for providing the administrative support for this national event!
report by Norfolk Chapter Secretary Edward Douglas
30 May 2016 Virginia Beach, VA
On Memorial Day a few members of the Norfolk Chapter assembled at the Norfolk Chapter Memorial at the Tidewater Veterans Memorial Park in Virginia Beach to lay our chapter wreath, pay our respects and have a prayer in honor of all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service to our country.
30 May 2016 Culpeper, VA
Culpeper National Cemetery was established in 1867, and today covers nearly 30 acres of land at the edge of downtown Culpeper and is the resting place of over 11,000 veterans. Each year a Memorial Day Service is held by The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, to render military honors to those interred in the previous twelve months without such honors. The Culpeper County High School Band also forms as volunteers, since the school term is over, and provides patriotic music and buglers for the ceremony. The attendance at this years ceremony easily exceeded 150 patriots including veterans of all services and all wars back to World War II.
The Virginia SAR was represented by two chapters, Col William Grayson and the Culpeper Minutemen. The SAR provided a six man Color Guard and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter presented a wreath.
29 May 2016 New York, NY
The new stamp commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Repeal of the Stamp Act is unveiled. Virginia SAR 1st Vice President Mike Elston, acting in his capacity as an officer of the U.S. Postal Service, assists in the unveiling and is second from the right in pictures.
At the World Stamp Show in New York the United States Postal Service unveiled the new stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act was a significant irritant between Great Briton and her American Colonies and a milestone in the chain of events leading to the American Declaration of Independence. Virginia SAR 1st Vice President Mike Elston is the Chief Ethics and Compliance officer of the Postal Service and played a significant role in the approval of this stamp and the ceremony to unveil it. A video about the stamp and the ceremony can be seen by clicking here.
21 May 2016 near Jamestown, VA
report by Virginia SAR President Ed Truslow
On Armed Forces Day Saturday May 21st, an Unknown Patriot Revolutionary War soldier was laid to rest at the Church on the Main near Jamestown. He was killed on July 6,1781 at the Battle of Green Spring. His remains were discovered in 1978 by archaeologists from the Virginia Research Center for Archaeology on the nearby Harris Plantation where the most intense action occurred. The soldier was hurriedly buried where he fell, in a shallow pit, clothed in his waistcoat and breeches, but lacking a coffin. Based upon analysis by the Smithsonian Institution in 2015, he was a white male between 23 and 28 years old and was probably one of the number of Pennsylvanians who died in the battle. His remains were finally returned by the Smithsonian to be properly buried near where he fell.
The interment project and associated ceremony was sponsored by the James City County Historical Commission with several members of VASSAR and other heritage organizations in attendance. Participants in the ceremony included Frank J. Abbot, Chairman of the James City County Historical Commission, Alain C. Outlaw, Archaeologist and dedication speaker, Rev. Dr. James Henry, Williamsburg SAR Chaplain and the officiating clergy, Scouts from Williamsburg Boy Scout Troop 103 who performed the tomb unveiling and VASSAR President Ed Truslow who placed the wreath upon the unknown soldier's tomb.
photo and obit from the Richmond Times
HALSTED, Reed, by the glory of God, was called to heaven on Friday, May 13, 2016, at his home in Richmond, Va. Reed was born December 17, 1924, in Arlington, Va., the son of Arthur and Flora Pierce Halsted. He married Jean Erickson on January 15, 1955. He was a graduate of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va., and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. After earning his B.A. at Kenyon, he attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons as part of the V-12 Navy College Training Program during World War II and took graduate courses at the University of Virginia. Reed worked as a salesman for Prince Matchabelli, Sterling Drug and several other companies, before starting Halsted Pharmaceuticals in 1960, where he patented and sold a medical product called Benephen. In his later career, he owned a New York-based sales territory, selling Safeguard Business Systems, until retiring in 1991. Reed was active in politics, running for state delegate in the 73rd district in 1993 and volunteering at the election polls. He was active with St. Giles Presbyterian Church of Richmond and attended Bible Study Fellowship for nearly 25 years. He was a member of the Sons of American Revolution and Colonial Wars and served as a docent at the Wilton House Museum. He was an avid sailor and was often seen by many in the front yard of his home tending to his garden. In addition to his wife of 61 years, Reed is survived by his sister, Nancy Lee Woodmansee (Charles) of Brentwood, Calif.; two sons, Reed Harbeck Halsted (Lorraine) of Winchester and Bruce Pierce Halsted (Cindy) of Bridgeport, Conn.; and grandchildren, LeighAnn Morris, Benjamin Hayward Halsted, Dale Stewart Halsted, Christina Jeanne Halsted, Anna Pierce Halsted and James Pierce Halsted. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Bruce Cushman Halsted and Arthur Halsted Jr.; and his son, James Spencer Halsted. The family will receive friends Tuesday, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Central Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, 3215 Cutshaw Ave. A celebration service will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, at St. Giles Presbyterian Church. A reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall, following the service. Burial will be in Stockbridge, Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Giles Presbyterian Church or Bible Study Fellowship, International.
report by Robert E. Halpern,Richmond Chapter Third Vice President, Historian, and Flag Committee Chairman
On Sunday May 15th at 10 AM on a cool sunny windy day among the tall uncut grass a few Richmond Chapter Members, Will Akers and Robert Halpern along with some other local volunteers went to help clean up the Shockoe Hill Cemetery here in Richmond. The grass had not been cut for some time due to the recent rainy weather. This along with the wind made it hard for the magnolia trees leaves to be raked and bagged by Will. Robert collected trash, cleaned up the dead branches and brush off the ground among the grave stones stacking them up in small piles along the winding roads of the graveyard for later pick up by Cemetery Employees. He also cut away some brush covering a few of the ancient grave stones. Despite the windy weather conditions it was a good day enjoyed by those who came out to clean up one of the old cemeteries here in Richmond. This event is something the Richmond Chapter along with some CAR chapters has done in the past few years.
14 May 2016 Wilderness Road Sate Park, Ewing, VA
The Sons of the American Revolution gathered at Wilderness Road State Park, in Ewing, VA, to commemorate the 241st anniversary of the Raid on Martin's Station. This is a national level event hosted by the Virginia Society. The Martin's Station and Overmountain Men Chapters are the local hosts and 15 members of the Virginia Society from eight chapters attended.. The ceremony began with a program in front of the Visitors' Center, with the local chapter president, Tom Coker as the master of ceremonies. Virginia SAR President Ed Truslow was the keynote speaker. President Truslow presented Tom Coker with the Virginia Society State Service medal to recognize his significant efforts over the past years in organizing this national event. The Captain of the reenactor Militia Company also addressed the crowd, in character, to explain the coming events.
Next the Combined Color Guard, led by the JROTC Honor Guard in hunting shirt uniforms, marched to the Martin's Station monument, where the wreaths had been arranged for presentation. J. Barney Penley of the Overmountain Men Chapter was the master of ceremonies for the wreath presentations. Surgeon General Larry Leslie represented NSSAR and the Virginia Society was represented by President Ed Truslow. Six Virginia Society Chapters presented wreaths.
report by Bob Vogler
On May 14, 2016 the "Fight for the Backcountry" reenactment dedicated on the 245th anniversary of the battle of Alamance, NC and the 20th annual Patriot's Day sponsored by the Alamance Battleground Chapter NC-SAR was held at the Alamance Battleground State (NC) historic
Bob Vogler and Jeff Briggs compatriots of the Col. George Waller Chapter attended these two events.
7 May 2016 Leedstown, VA
Today a group of about 50 people gathered at the Hungerford-Griffin Cemetery to honor 4 Revolutionary War patriots and 3 War of 1812 Veterans. The Virginia Society and 4 Virginia SAR chapters participated in the event that was hosted by the James Monroe Chapter. The ceremony was conducted jointly with the Society of the War of 1812 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. James Monroe Chapter President Charles Belfield was the Master of Ceremonies and the keynote speaker was Stuart L. Butler, Councilor of the War of 1812 Society in Virginia. The Virginia SAR was represented by Newsletter Editor Bil Schwetke.
During the ceremony grave markers were unveiled at the graves of John Pratt Hungerford, Thomas Hungerford, Anne Brickett Pratt, William Kendall, Henry Hungerford, and John Washington. A musket volley was fired by a combined firing party and taps was played. Then wreaths were presented by 14 participating organizations.