report by Peter Davenport, George Mason Chapter Secretary/Treasurer
The United States Navy Memorial recently announced its 2016 recipients of the Lone Sailor Award, one of whom is the current George Mason Chapter President, Robert Shumaker. He will share this award with Senator John Glenn and Daniel D’Aniello (Chairman of the Carlyle Group) at a “black tie” dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC on 14 September.
Shumaker is being recognized for his leadership role throughout his thirtysix year navy career, and in particular for his resistance during his eight years as a POW in Vietnam. A recent Book, named Defiant, by Alvin Townley, describes Shumaker’scontributions as one of the “Alcatraz Eleven”, a group which their captors singled out because of their leadership roles. These eleven POW’s were subjected to particularly harsh conditions and included such notables as VADM Jim Stockdale, RADM Jeremiah Denton and Col. Sam Johnson (all of whom had subsequent political careers).
The Lone Sailor Award dates back to 1987 and includes individuals whose lives have been beneficially impacted by their sea service experiences. Past recipients include John McCain, presidents Ford and Bush (41), Senator Sam Nunn, and from the sports world, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra and Arnold Palmer. More information is available on the website www.navymemorial.org and linking to “Lone Sailor Awards Dinner”
12-13 Aug 2016 Albany, NY
The Atlantic Middle States Association, made up of the the Mid-Atlantic District (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and District of Columbia Societies), and the North Atlantic District (New Jersey and New York Societies), met at the Radisson Hotel in Albany, NY for their annual meeting. Sixty-six compatriots, including nine from the Virginia Society and two of our wives attended. Those from the Virginia Society included President Ed Truslow and his wife, Laura, Mid-Atlantic District Vice President General Mark Brennan, National Trustee Reverdy Wright, Surgeon Kirk Sheap and his wife Norma, past President General Joe Dooley, Peter Davenport, Ernie Coggins, Paul Chase, and Bill Schwetke. Paul Chase, Peter Davenport, Joe Dooley, and Bill Schwetke, also participated in the Color Guard.
The business session was conducted jointly by Mid-Atlantic VPG Mark Brennan and North Atlantic VPG Warren Fristensky. The first order of business was reports by the national and district officers. Chancellor General Davis Wright also gave a report as the Mid-Atlantic District Web Master.
Of particular note in the reports by the national officers was the update from Genealogist General John Sinks on new sources proving patriotism. An update on that information will be posted later. SAR Foundation Board President Sam Powell also gave a good discussion of legacy gifts and who important they can be to the future of the SAR. Those leaving a legacy gift of $10,000 or more receive special recognition as member of the Founders Circle. (click here for Founders Circle Form).
After the reports of the national and district officers, candidates for next years' national officers were proposed for endorsement by the Middle Atlantic States Association and voted upon. The candidates that were proposed are listed below; those who were endorsed are in bold and underlined:
Larry T. Guzy (Georgia)
Warren M. Alter (NH)
Davis L. Wright (Delaware)
John D. Sinks (DC)
Rick D. Hollis (Tennessee)
C. Bruce Pickette (Alabama)
Mark C. Anthony (South Carolina)
John O. Thornhill (North Carolina)
Matthew J. Barlow, Jr., MD (Delaware)
Dr. John Barlow is a dual member of the Norfolk Chapter of the Virginia Society.
Candidates, who did not also address the meeting as national officers, included, left to right: Rick Hollis, Dr. Matthew Barlow, Mark Anthony, and Jack Thornhill.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th
Saturday morning began with a continuation of the previous evening's business session. New items of note that were discussed included a discussion of digitization of our genealogical records, funding of that effort, and availability of a DVD on our museum project by Solid Light.
The digitization of our genealogical records is necessary to preserve them, and to make them searchable for researchers. Our then existing applications were microfilmed by the predecessor of Family Search in the 1990's. Copies of that microfilm are kept at NSSAR Headquarters, the DAR Library, and by the Genealogical Society of Utah. The proposal to the NSSAR from Family search is to digitize existing records, to now include documentation. and patriot biographies. There are significant concerns about privacy issues with our records, and those are being addressed. Though most of the funding for this is being provided by Family Search, there are costs for the SAR. The Foundation Board has established a special fund for this project, and has proposed setting goals of $1,000 per state society and $500 per chapter (probably to be adjusted for size variation). The Atlantic Middle States Association voted to commit to $10,000 in donations by its member state societies and chapters.
The NSSAR Headquarters Museum Project has a six minute DVD on the Solid Light Proposal for this museum which is available to societies and chapters to be shown to the membership.
After the morning business session attendees participated in a bus tour of the Saratoga Battlefield, led by certified tour guide Larry Arnold.
Saturday evening was the banquet and awards presentation. After the formalities and introductions, guest speaker Larry Arnold, our afternoon tour guide, spoke on General Benedict Arnold (no relation) and particularly the importance of his actions on May 18, 1775, which preserved the earlier victory at Fort Ticonderoga.
President General Mike Tomme yielded his position of honor in presenting greetings and remarks to his first lady, Cilla Leed. PG Tomme then gave brief remarks in support of his initiatives: Educational Outreach, a Mentor Program, Donations to Youth Awards.
To conclude the program awards were presented to those who organized the meeting, and a special award, the "Jersey Devil" award, to the state society that amassed the most points based on members attending and distance traveled. Virginia SAR President Ed Truslow accepted the award for the the Virginia Society.
Next year the Atlantic Middle States Association Annual Meeting will be in Gettysburg, PA.
Virginia Society Cooperates with West Virginia Society on Site Survey of Revolutionary War Veteran's Grave in Harper's Ferry.
11 Aug 2016 Harper's Ferry, WV
Recently, workers at Harper's Cemetery in Harper's Ferry, WV, discovered a tombstone that had been knocked over, broken, and buried. When it was uncovered it was discovered to be the tombstone of Lt. William Broaddus, who fought at Monmouth with the 2nd Virginia, under Colonel Gibson. Broaddus was born in Culpeper, VA in 1755, and late in life moved to Harper's Ferry, VA, where he died in 1830. His wife, Martha Slaughter Jones, was from a prominent Culpeper Family.
The name Broaddus, is, of course, familiar to the Virginia Society. Our Society President in 2014-2015 was Bill Broadus, a relative, though not direct descendant of Lt. William Broaddus. Our Bill Broadus is actively engaged in the effort to restore the tombstone.
The restoration will be done by Robert Mosko, an expert in tombstone restoration. Professor Mosko owns Mosko Cemetery Monument Services in Hanover, PA, which is wholly devoted to monument restorations.
The Virginia SAR and our Knight/Patty Fund Board are considering how we might participate in restoring this memorial to a veteran of the 2nd Virginia in our Revolution. The West Virginia SAR is planning a dedication ceremony for the restored tombstone on Saturday, October 15th. The Virginia SAR is also considering participation in this ceremony.
Participants in the site survey, from left to right: Lynn Vaughn, wife of the mayor and cemetery board member; Brian King, local historian; Professor Robert Mosko, professional monument restorer; Bill Schwetke, representing Virginia SAR; Cat Schwetke; Hardwick Johnson, representing WV SAR, town council and cemetery board; Tom Newcomer, cemetery board.
6 Aug 2016 Montpelier, VA
report by Virginia SAR President Ed Truslow
On Saturday August 6th, the Jack Jouett DAR Chapter hosted a reception for Judith Surber, the 39th Virginia DAR Regent. The event was held in the DuPont Gallery's Grand Salon at James Madison's Montpelier estate. Speakers included Kat Imhoff, President of the James and Dolly Madison Montpelier Foundation, and "James Madison" himself.
Regent Surber's initiative for her three year term will be focused on the U.S. Constitution. She is asking for $200,000 to underwrite a new conference room in Claude Moore Hall at the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution. She is also asking all 130 state DAR chapters get actively involved in promoting the understanding of the Constitution in some way.
Among the Virginia Society SAR guests were VASSAR President Ed Truslow and 2nd Vice President Pat Kelly, Past VASSAR Presidents Trice Taylor and Phil Williams, Thomas Jefferson Chapter President Mackey Tilman and Rev. Canon Henry Minich, former Virginia Society Chaplain.
report by Charles Belfield, President, James Monroe Chapter
The James Monroe Chapter honored Caleb Donovan on his becoming an Eagle Scout. Caleb is a student at Rappahannock High School Warsaw Va. One of his projects was to raise the funds and have installed the flag pole of the new elementary school in Richmond County.