photos by Ernie Coggins
Today a crowd of over one hundred people gathered in Saint Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Alexandria to honor five patriots buried there:
Francis Ignatius Hagan
Pierre La Croix
Saint Mary's Catholic Church was established in 1795 and is the oldest Catholic parish in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The original chapel was on the grounds of the current cemetery and was funded by the efforts of Colonel John Fitzgerald, who had served as General George Washington's aide de camp. General Washington was the first donor in support of the chapel.
The ceremony today was conducted by the George Washington Chapter and included significant participation by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Children of the American Revolution, and students of Saint Mary's School. Past President General Joe Dooley presented greetings to the gathering and noted the significance of the honor paid to these patriots by the school children. Virginia SAR 2nd Vice President Mike Elston presented greetings from our society.
The biographies of the patriots being honored were read by students of Saint Mary's School, then the winners of the Louis Beach Memorial Scholarships read their winning essays on patriotism. The sunny skies, cool, but pleasant temperatures, and the participation of so many young patriots made this a suitable tribute to the patriots buried here.
Fron row, left to right: unknown, past PG Joe Dooley, unknown, unknown, Virginia SAR 2nd VP Mike Elston, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Fauquier Court House Chapter, NSDAR representative Cat Schwetke, unknown. Back row, left to right: past Virginia SAR President Don Reynolds, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Culpeper Minutemen Chapter President Bill Schwetke, unknown, George Washington Chapter President Dwight Whitney.