To commemorate the 231st Anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution, the George Washington Chapter led a service at Historic Pohick Episcopal Church in Lorton, VA. Pohick Church was the parish church of General George Washington and George Mason. The Master of Ceremonies was Paul Walden. The Reverend Thomas Costa, portraying Parson Massey, Rector of Pohick Church during the Revolutionary War period, read the preamble to the Constitution and led us in prayer, following a solemn tolling of the church bell 13 times.
Below: The Rev. Tom Costa reads the preamble from the pulpit (photo by Tom Roth)
Left; David Cook, Assistant Registrar, discusses Registrar issues at the Friday evening workshop. Right: Jeff Thomas, 3rd VP, discusses the Americanism Report
Board of Managers Conducts General Membership Meeting
L to R: Rev. Dr. Eugene Thomas, Chaplain, Wayne Rouse, Secretary, Pat Kelly, President, Pete Davenport, 1st VP, Bill Schwetke, 2nd VP, Jeff Thomas, 3rd VP
Paul Chase (Colonel William Grayson Chapter) Awarded VASSAR Color Guardsman of the Year
The illustrious VASSAR Color Guard posts colors
Luncheon guests are treated to a bagpipe performance
Patrick Henry gives his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.
President General Warren Alter and VASSAR Present Pat Kelly Bring Greetings at George Washington Chapter Meeting
The George Washington Chapter was honored to have President General Alter and VASSAR President Kelly bring greetings at our monthly chapter meeting at Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria on 8 September. Submitted by Paul Walden.
Photos below: P.G. Alter (left), VASSAR President Kelly (right)
At that same chapter meeting, we were fortunate to have eight past George Washington Chapter Presidents in attendance! Left to Right: Ernie Coggins (current President), Dick Kusserow, Don Baldwin, Larry Lisle, David Walker, Don Baldwin, Mike Elston, Paul Walden, and Dwight Whitney
On Saturday afternoon, September 08, 2018, under cloudy skies with intermittent rain, President General Warren Alter laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on behalf of the SAR. Escorted by Soldiers of the Old Guard, PG Alter was assisted in placing the wreath by Virginia Society President Pat Kelly. Virginia Color Guard Commander and Virginia Society Second Vice President Bill Schwetke and George Washington Chapter President Ernie Coggins were also part of the presentation party. A good number of compatriots attended in spite of the weather, and members of the Virginia Society Color Guard formed a guard of honor on the steps leading to the Tomb.
The Sentinels who guard the Tomb are all volunteers and are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). They guard the Tomb twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year regardless of the weather. In addition to protecting this sacred site, the Soldiers of The Old Guard maintain reverence and silence.
The Tomb contains the remains of the Unknown Soldiers of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The Unknown Soldier from World War I was interred on November 11, 1921. A white marble sarcophagus was placed over the grave. On May 30, 1958, the Unknowns from World War II and Korea were buried by the sarcophagus, and their graves were marked with flat marble slabs. An Unknown from the Vietnam War was buried on Memorial Day, May 28, 1984 and this grave was also marked by a flat marble slab. As the result of DNA analysis, these remains were identified and exhumed in 1998. It has been decided that this crypt will remain vacant and the crypt cover was replaced with one inscribed with the words “Honoring and Keeping Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975.”
It has become an annual tradition for the George Washington Chapter of the Virginia Society to host this ceremony for the President General to honor the Unknowns and all who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Submitted by Ernie Coggins, George Washington Chapter President
President General Warren Alter (left) accompanied by Virginia President Pat Kelly (right) and escorted by a Soldier of The Old Guard, lays a wreath for the National Society at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery on September 08, 2018. The Soldier with the red cap is the bugler and a member of The United States Army Band.
SAR Compatriots attending President General Alter’s wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Saturday, 08 September 2018. From left to right: Bill Schwetke, Dr. Don Reynolds, Ernie and Diane Coggins, Jeff Thomas, Ken Morris, Dennis Peterson, Dave Thomas, Dwight Whitney, Pat and Jennifer Kelly, Warren and Nancy Alter, Jim O’Kelley with grandson Bailey Friedman, Vern Eubanks, Dave Cook, Mike Taimi, Pete Davenport, Jack Pitzer, Joe Famme, and Rev. Dr. Gene Thomas. Photographer Tom Roth is not pictured.
At the September George Washington Chapter meeting, the SAR Flag Certificate was presented to Compatriot Jamie Callender for flying the United States Flag at his Springfield home. So far, our chapter has awarded 12 Flag Certificates this year! SAR Flag Certificates are awarded to compatriots, non-members, and even businesses who fly the United States Flag appropriately at their home or place of business. Photo courtesy of Tom Roth.
Members of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter participated in the Veteran’s Tribute Ceremony at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds during this year’s Shenandoah County Fair. Members of the Color Guard, compatriots Brett Osborn, Larry Johnson, and Marc Robinson participated in the Veteran’s Tribute Ceremony and Chapter Registrar Jim Simmons maintained an SAR information booth throughout the day.
Left to Right in the color guard photo are: Brett Osborn, Marc Robinson, and Larry Johnson
Submitted by Marc Robinson, Vice President, Colonel James Wood II Chapter