24 Oct 2020 Culpeper, VA
Today in Yowell Meadow Park, Culpeper Virginia, the Town of Culpeper and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter dedicated a joint Culpeper Minutemen / Charters of Freedom monument and display before a crowd estimated by the local paper as nearly 200.. The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter has worked on this project for over five years, and the Charters of Freedom display was added two years ago. The project was initially conceived by late compatriot Lon Lacey, Jr., and was kick started by a significant commitment from the Virginia SAR Knight Patty Fund. It was brought to completion with significant effort by Culpeper Minutemen Member and Town Councilman Keith Price.
Dignitaries attending the ceremony were Culpeper Mayor Michael T. Olinger, Virginia SAR President and Culpeper Minutemen Chapter Member Bill Schwetke, Virginia DAR Regent LeAnn Turbyfill, Virginia C.A.R. President Catie Wasenko, and Virginia C.A.R. Senior President Stacey Wajciechowski.
Thirty-one SAR compatriots attended the ceremony, representing nine Virginia SAR Chapters. Eighteen participated in the Color Guard, and ten fired in the musket volley. Virginia Chapters attending included Col William Grayson, Col James Wood II, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, Fort Harrison, George Mason, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Williamsburg.
Kieth Price of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter lead the effort for this display for the past two years and was the Master of Ceremonies for the dedication. The Prelude to the ceremony was Revolutionary Fife and Drum Music by Lon Lacey III and Alan Lacey. VFW Post 2524 Color Guard presented the National Colors and fifteen SAR Color Guardsmen carried SAR and Historic flags. Rev Ludwell Brown of Mount Cavalry Baptist Church in Haywood gave the Invocation and Culpeper Sheriff's Deputy Melvin White sang the National Anthem. Remarks were delivered by Mayor Michael Olinger, Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Charles Jameson, Culpeper Minute Men Chapter NSDAR Regent Carol Simpson, Virginia DAR Regent LeAnn Turbyfill, and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke. Then the Charters of Freedom were presented by Foundation Forward Founder Vance Patterson to the Town of Culpeper.
The program concluded with the raising of flags (Grand Union and Culpeper Battalion Flag) at the monument, with a musket volley as they reached the tops of the flag poles, and then an overhead flight by four WWII aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force.