Recognized as Best 2019 VASSAR Website

Planning Guide to the 2020 Congress in Richmond

The dates for the 2010 Congress are Saturday, 11 though Wednesday, 15 July 2020.  While the actual schedule has not been published, you might be interested in the following Planning Guide 2020 Congress

Temporary Closure: NSSAR Headquarters

March 16, 2020

In light of the recent events around the country regarding the coronavirus, the National Society Sons of the American Revolution headquarters will be closed. We anticipate this closure to last until March 30th.  If the situation changes, we may be closed for a longer period or possibly reduce that time frame.

It is a very fluid situation at the moment and we are attempting to stay abreast of the most recent changes. With that in mind, the President General approved this closure.

Merchandise shipments and order processing, application reviews, record copy request, etc. will be suspended until we return.

Thank you for your understanding.

 

Michael T. Scroggins

Director of Operations, NSSAR

A Message From the Chapter President

Welcome to the website of the George Washington Chapter of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution!  If you are new to the SAR, or to the George Washington Chapter, I hope you enjoy reading about and enjoying some of the photographs that capture many of our annual and one-of-a-kind activities. If you are already a member, I encourage you to explore the Members Only resources that are available to you on this site.

If you are not familiar with the Sons of the American Revolution, we are the leading male lineage society dedicated to perpetuating the ideals of the war for independence. As an historical, educational, and patriotic, non-profit corporation, we seek to maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism, respect for our national symbols, the value of American citizenship, and the unifying force of "e pluribus unum" that was created from the people of many nations -- one nation and one people. "In God We Trust".

In 2020, the George Washington Chapter is proudly celebrating its 66th year of advancing the goals and ideals of the SAR in Alexandria and the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.  Our location and wide range of activities makes us one of the most dynamic chapters in the country. Whether it is participating in the annual July 4th wreath-laying ceremony at Mount Vernon, marching in the National Memorial Day Parade or Alexandria's Washington's Birthday Parade, honoring local police officers and firefighters with SAR awards, judging a youth contest, honoring local Patriots by marking their graves, or just enjoying a fabulous lunch with a fascinating speaker, there are many ways for a new member to get involved in the work of the SAR. Our members also are active at the state and national levels of the SAR, serving as national officers, state officers, state committee chairmen and national committee members.

Our regular monthly meetings are held September through May at the beautiful Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria. These meetings generally feature a prominent speaker in a field related to the American Revolution, U.S. history and government, or other key issues of the day.

If you are already a member of the SAR and would like to join the George Washington Chapter, please contact our Secretary, at secretary@gwsar.org. We welcome all new members. If you are not a member of the SAR and would like more information about joining the SAR and the George Washington Chapter, please click on our Membership page or contact our Registrar, at registrar@gwsar.org. Membership is open to any adult male who is a lineal descendant of a Revolutionary War soldier or patriot. Women and children interested in perpetuating the ideals of our Patriot ancestors may wish to contact the Daughters of the American Revolution (www.dar.org) or the Children of the American Revolution (www.nscar.org).

Thank you for your interest in the George Washington Chapter. I hope you will join us in the important work of the SAR as we strive to honor our Patriot ancestors by extending the legacy of the freedom for which they were willing to sacrifice all.

Sincerely,

Jay M. Henn
President
president@gwsar.org

George Washington Chapter Participates in the 2019 Wreaths Across America

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REMEMBERING our fallen U.S. veterans

HONORING  those who serve

Through the generous donations of the George Washington Chapter membership 200 wreaths were purchased and donated to the 2019 Wreaths Across America.

On Saturday, December 14, 2019, the George Washington Chapter participated in Wreaths Across America (WAA), by placing Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes at Alexandria National Cemetery – our Nation’s first National cemetery – and saying their names aloud in honor of their service.  It was through the generous donations coming from the Chapter’s membership that 200 wreaths were purchased and donated to the 2019 WAA Program.  Thank you one and all.

 

BRINGING OUR PATRIOTS TO LIFE

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One of the responsibilities we have as members of the NSSAR is the recognition and honoring of our Revolutionary War military veterans and civilian patriots.  To this end, I have been actively involved with the development and implementation of a new NSSAR website, Patriot Research System (PRS), which details our revolutionary war lineages and biographies of our Patriots.

NSSAR PRS    (http://sarpatriots.sar.org/)

A key part of making the PRS a success is an effort to upload all of the existing approved lineages - the NSSAR approved record copy (RC) you got when you first joined the Society.  These RCs detail the Compatriot’s lineage to his Patriot as well as critical information about each Patriot.

There are efforts underway in several State Societies to organize teams of volunteers to enter RC information.  I am proposing we join these efforts, with the immediate goal of entering the RC information for each GWSAR member.

If you are interested in joining me in this highly rewarding and worthwhile effort, please contact me, Jamie Callender, at webmaster@gwsar.org.

April 2020 George Washington Chapter Meeting Cancelled

Compatriots:

Given the ongoing pandemic, the restricted or non-availability of meeting venues, and the vulnerability of many of our members, with the concurrence of the Board of Managers I am cancelling our April Chapter meeting, previously scheduled for April 4, 2020.  We will continue to monitor the various aspects of this situation and keep you informed as to the status of not only our May Chapter meeting but of other related SAR events, as well.  In addition, we are starting to give some preliminary thought as to how we might conduct future meetings – if necessary – in a virtual fashion.

All of us in Chapter leadership consider maintaining contact with our membership during these times to be of the highest priority.  To that end, we will be working on an April issue of the newsletter that will provide additional information about SAR and related activities and how they have been impacted by the coronavirus. We will also be including information about important SAR and Chapter activities to which you can contribute from the comfort and safety of your home.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the other Chapter officers should you have suggestions regarding actions we could take.  In particular, should you require assistance, please reach out.  And, if you are able to help a Chapter member in need if necessary, please let us know.

On behalf of all of our Chapter officers, may I wish you and your families the very best in these challenging times.

Fraternally,

Jay

 

Jay M. Henn, President

George Washington Chapter, VASSAR

2019 Wreath Laying Ceremony at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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President General Jack Manning accompanied by Virginia President Peter Davenport, NSSAR Color Guard Commander, Jim Fosdyck and President of the George Washington Chapter Dave Thomas were escorted by a soldier of The Old Guard, laying a wreath for the National Society at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery on September 14, 2019. The Soldier with the red cap is the bugler and a member of The United States Army Band playing”Taps”.

On Saturday afternoon, September 14, 2019, President General Jack Manning laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on behalf of the SAR. Escorted by Soldiers of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard”, PG Manning was assisted in placing the wreath by NSSAR Color Guard Commander Jim Fosdyck, Virginia Society President Peter Davenport and George Washington Chapter President Dave Thomas were also part of the presentation party. The presentation party was flanked by 14 VASSAR Color Guardsmen composed of a mix of guardsmen from around Virginia and other states. The ceremony was witnessed by an estimated 200 veterans and citizens.
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 and honor for the George Washington Chapter of the Virginia Society to host this ceremony for the President General to honor and recognize the Unknowns and all who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


President General Jack Manning accompanied by Virginia President Peter Davenport, NSSAR Color Guard Commander, Jim Fosdyck and President of the George Washington Chapter Dave Thomas were escorted by a Soldier of The Old Guard, laying a wreath for the National Society at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery on September 14, 2019. The Soldier with the red cap is the bugler and a member of The United States Army Band.

VASSAR GOLD MEDAL GALA – 9 NOV 2019

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(Left) Presentation of the Gold Good Citizenship Medal and Certificate to General Gordon R. Sullivan – presented by VASSAR President, Peter Davenport, NSSAR Past President General, Joseph Dooley and George Washington Chapter President, Dave Thomas; (Right) Honoree General Sullivan paying personal respects to the U.S. Army Continental Color Guard during the Pledge of Allegiance

On Saturday, November 9, 2019 the George Washington Chapter had the unique honor to host the Virginia Society, Gold Good Citizenship Medal Gala at Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, VA. The honoree for this year’s Gold Good Citizenship Medal was General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.), former Chief of Staff of the Army and member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Sullivan was honored and recognized by the NSSAR Virginia Society for his distinguished military service to the United States. Currently, General Sullivan is the Executive Director of the Army Historical Foundation, playing a major role in the creation of the new National Museum of the United States Army at nearby Ft. Belvoir. VASSAR President, Peter Davenport and other VASSAR, VADAR and US military dignitaries were in attendance. Arrangements were made with the Military District of Washington to honor General Sullivan and gala attendees with the Presentation of the Colors by U.S. Army Continental Color Guard, and the playing of patriotic music by the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Brass Quintet. The Master of Ceremonies was George Washington Chapter’s own Mike Elston, who hosted the gala event to the 77 guests in attendance. VASSAR President, Peter Davenport, SAR Past-President General, Joe Dooley and George Washington Chapter President, Dave Thomas presented the Gold Good Citizenship Medal and Certificate to General Sullivan.

Master of Ceremonies, Mike Elston reading the biography of General Gordon Sullivan

Public Service Award Committee Report

departments. Again, I would like to thank the Board of Managers as well as the Chapter membership for supporting this program. The Departments are very appreciative and express that to me often.
Thanks to the support of the Chapter leadership as well as our fellow compatriots, this has been a very successful year for the Public Service Awards Committee. During the year we have thus far awarded sixty-five Public Service Awards with two pending for the tenth and thirteenth of December. In addition, we have presented two Bronze Good Citizenship Medal Awards in lieu of Fire Safety Commendation Awards because one of the awardees is a past recipient.

The award breakdown is as follows:

HEROISM AWARD:  11

  • Alexandria Fire Department received 2 awards.
  • Alexandria Police Department received 3 awards.
  • Alexandria Sheriff’s Department received 2 awards.
  • Fairfax Fire Department received 1 award.
  • Prince William Police Department received 3 awards.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES AWARD:  23

  • Alexandria Fire Department received 9 awards.
  • Prince William Fire Department received 14 awards.

LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMENDATION AWARD: 20

  • Alexandria Police Department received 5 awards.
  • Alexandria Sheriff’s Department received 3 awards.
  • Prince William Police Department received 12 awards.

FIRE SAFETY COMMENDATION AWARD: 9

  • Alexandria Fire Department received 1 award.
  • Fairfax Fire Department received 5  awards.
  • Prince William Fire Department received 3 awards.

LIFE SAVING AWARD: 2

  • Alexandria Sheriff’s Department received 1 award.
  • Prince William Fire Department received 1 award.

PENDING AWARDS: 2

  • Law Enforcement Commendation: Fairfax County Police Department.
  • Fire Safety Commendation: Dunn Loring Fire Department.

For the New Year, there are currently nine awards in process for the Mount Vernon Station, Fairfax County Police Department involving a barricade situation as well as another for meritorious service.

I expect to receive other nominations as we move toward Valor Award nominations for the various local