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George Washington Chapter
Sons of the American Revolution
              Virginia Society

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Recognized as Best Virginia SAR Website

2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Past Events --- 2023 --- 2022 --- 2021  --- 2020  --- 2019  --- 2018  --- 2017


Wreaths Across American - 18 Dec 2021

G.W. Chapter compatriots participating in the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Alexandria National Cemetery this morning were Tom Roth, Jack Coulter, John Brigden, Bill Wilson, Jamie Callender, and Richard Rankin.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, we waited in a long queue outside the gates of the cemetery. Once the gates were opened, groups of volunteers were allowed to enter in sequence, with more people entering once the previous groups were finished. Each volunteer was able to lay two wreaths at gravestones, and eventually all the volunteers from various patriotic organizations were able to honor over 3,000 of the 4,229 gravestones in this cemetery.

Chapter Meeting - 11 Dec 2021

Ernie Coggins served as our featured speaker, discussing the histories of George Washington, George Mason, and Daniel Morgan.  He then installed our new chapter officers for 2022 - President Richard Rankin, Vice-President Rand Pixa (virtual participant), Treasurer Bill Wilson, and Secretary Scott Walker. 

Ernie Coggins was joined after the meeting by New Chapter President Rankin (sporting his new neckwear) and past George Mason Chapter President, Ken Morris, to celebrate Ernie’s receipt of the Houdon Bust.

Battle of Great Bridge Commemoration - 4 Dec 2021

Ernie Coggins, Past Chapter President and VASSAR 2nd VP and Tom Roth, GWSAR President, attended the annual commemoration of the Battle of Great Bridge yesterday in Chesapeake, Virginia.   This is an annual National Event sponsored by the Norfolk Chapter.  President General Davis Wright and VASSAR President Jeff Thomas were in attendance and spoke.

Battle of Great Bridge Commemoration - 4 Dec 2021

Lydia Darragh Medal Presentation - 27 Nov 2021

On Saturday, November 27, GWSAR President Tom Roth presented the Lydia Darragh Medal to his mom, Marjory Jarboe Roth, whose interest in family genealogy bears much of the responsibility for his being involved.

Chapter November 2021 Meeting

President Roth opened the meeting while also attempting to run the live stream of the meeting to Zoom.  Dr. Mark Edward Lender joined by Zoom and gave a very enlightening talk on the debates of George Washington’s military leadership surrounding what is commonly called the Conway Cabal.  

Richard Rankin was elected as President, Rand Pixa as Vice President, Bill Wilson as Treasurer, and Scott Walker as Secretary for 2022.  We also inducted Robert Hoyt as a new member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Richard Rankin (Chairman), Rand Pixa, Jamie Callender, and Dave Thomas were awarded Certificates of Distinguished Service for the work on the Online Payment committee in 2020 into 2021 developing our new Wild Apricot based website, and membership management system.  Secretary Bill Wilson was awarded the Virginia Society Chapter Service Medal for his service as Secretary and in helping develop our Zoom Communication capabilities.  President Roth awarded the Chapter Distinguished Service Medal to our Chaplain Don Reynolds.

Veterans Day Wreath Presentation - Mt. Vernon - 11 Nov 2021

We had a Joint Commemoration and Wreath Presentation at George Washington’s Tomb with Kate Waller Barrett Chapter NSDAR.  Richard Rankin, Chapter Vice President served as Master of Ceremonies and GW Chapter Chaplain Don Reynolds presented the invocation.

Members of the VASSAR Color Guard, led by VASSAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner, presented the Colors during the Ceremony.  We were also honored by the presence of Jeff Thomas, President, VASSAR, as well as the President of Virginia Society Children of the American Revolution.

President Roth and Vice President Rankin shown here with the Chapter’s Wreath and Tillie Cassidy, Regent of the Kate Waller Barrett Chapter, NSDAR, presented remarks on behalf of the DAR.  Barbara McJoynt, Past Regent Kate Waller Barrett Chapter NSDAR. Continued her decades long tradition of reading George Washington’s Prayer for the Nation.  

Honoring Veterans at Mount Vernon on Veterans Day, November 11, 2021

Prince William County Public Service Awards - Nov 2021

Prince William County Police Department Public Service Awards Presentations

  • First Responders to the Four Seasons Event: Sergeant James Krisner, Officer Ivan Torres, Officer Ravinder Mehta, and Officer Adam Bear
  • The Quaking Aspen Attempted Suicide Event: Officer Jason O'Sullivan
  • Prince William County Police Department Intelligence Unit: First Sergeant Sarah Rolle, Sergeant Ian Oakes, and Master Police Officer Barry Krohn - photos of undercover squad members are not presented
Also attending were PWCPD Chief Peter Newsham (the tallest guy in the room), President Tom Roth and from the Public Service Awards committee, John Blair, and Glenn Spencer

250th Anniversary of Mount Vernon Gristmill - 30 October

Fairfax Resolves Chapter lead ceremony followed by tours of the gristmill and distillery

GW members Present: Tom Roth, Chapter President and VASSAR Historian, Ernie Coggins, VASSAR 2nd VP. Ernie participated by leading the SAR Pledge, and Richard Sherman, GW Registrar. Richard attended in Colonial Militia attire and participated by leading the SAR Recessional.

250th Anniversary of Mount Vernon Gristmill - 30 October

Culpeper Minute Battalion Muster - 23 October 2021

Culpeper Minutemen Chapter. Annual Commemoration of the Muster of the Culpeper Minute Battalion, Yowel Meadow Park Culpeper.

GW Members Attending - Tom Roth, Chapter President and VASSAR Historian & Ernie Coggins, Past Chapter President and VASSAR 2nd VP.

Tom participated by presenting a Wreath.

Yorktown Day - 19 October 2021

Commemoration at Governor Thomas Nelson, Jr.’s Tomb. Ernie Coggins Presented a Wreath on behalf of the Chapter.

Mike Elston, Past Chapter and VASSAR President and current Chancellor General, brought greeting on behalf of the President General.

Order of Founders and Patriots of America – Charles Church Cemetery, Yorktown, Marker Dedication for 17th Century Founders. Ernie Coggins presented a wreath on behalf of the Chapter.

October 2021 - Silver Good Citizenship Award

George Washington Chapter's presentation of the Silver Good Citizenship Award to retiring Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne

Dana Lawhorne is now serving in his fourth term of office as Sheriff for the City of Alexandria. A lifelong Alexandrian, Sheriff Lawhorne has dedicated his life to public service and building partnerships with the community and criminal justice agencies. At the end of 2021, he will be retiring following 43 years as an Alexandria law enforcement officer

Attended by President Roth, Vice-President Rankin, and Public Safety Awards Chair Blair

Silver Good Citizenship Award Nomination

Chapter October 2021 Meeting

President Tom Roth called the October meeting to order, observed by Secretary Wilson over Zoom, Chaplain Don Reynolds gave the Invocation, and Bill Bland led the members on the SAR Pledge

Immediate Past President Jay Henn, as Chairman of the Nominations Committee, gave the report of the Committee - Richard Rankin, President; Rand Pixa, Secretary; William “Bill” Wilson, Treasurer; and Scott Walker, Secretary. Tom Roth was nominated for a 3-year term as an at-large member of the Board of Managers

NSSAR Chancellor General Mike Elston presented Jamie Callender with an oak leaf cluster in lieu of an additional award of the Meritorious Service Medal, and former President General Joe Dooley with Certificates of Appreciation from the National Society for his service as chair or vice chair of National Committees

President Roth, on behalf of the Virginia Society, presented former Chapter President Paul Walden with the VASSAR Patriot Graves Preservation Medal, the Silver Roger Sherman Medal, and a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his services to the Virginia Society as Editor of the Virginia Dispatches and in Patriot Graves Preservation, and past President Jay Henn with the medal for his Virginia Society Medal and Certificate of Appreciation for his work as Chapter Americanism Committee Chair during 2021

Our speaker: Dr. Glenn F. Williams “Let It Begin Here” (Lexington & Concord, 1775)   Lexington and Concord

We also had a presentation from Sara Cox, CAR,  describing her project and requesting support  V.S.C.A.R. 2021-2022 State Project

Tatsapaugh - Hooff Grave Marking - 9 October 2021

The George Washington Chapter marked the graves of two revolutionary war patriots, Lawrence Hooff and Peter Tatsapaugh, in the St. Paul’s Church portion of the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in Alexandria - Rand Pixa recorded the Ceremony

As part of the ceremony, past President Jay Henn led the Pledge of Allegiance, Vice President Richard Rankin led the SAR Pledge, President Tom Roth greeted our visitors and introduced distinguished members and guests, and Dale Corey, Past President of the Col. James Wood II Chapter, led the singing of “America (‘My Country tis of thee’)

The Rev. Jenni Ovenstone, Senior Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, gave the invocation, and Paul Walden was joined by descendants of Patriots Tatsapaugh and Hooff in dedicating the Grave Markers

Members of the VASSAR Color Guard presented the Colors in front of Patriot Hooff’s family Vault and later rendered the traditional three musket volley salute following the dedication of the markers - President Roth presented the Bronze Roger Sherman Medal to VASSAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner in recognition of his help (and that of the Color Guard) with GW Chapter events of the past 2 years

Grave Marking, October 9, 2021, Peter Tatsapaugh & Lawrence Hoof, St. Paul's Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia

Wreath Laying at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Sep 2021

President General Davis Wright’s presentation of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on September 18, 2021.  The Presentation Party consisted on President General Wright with VASSAR President Jeff Thomas on the front row.  GWC President Tom Roth, and VASSAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner on the Second Row.

President General's Wreath-Laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Arlington National Cemetery, September 18, 2021

Chapter September 2021 Meeting

Davis Wright, President General of the NSSAR joined us for the lunch and addressed the Chapter.  Vice President Rankin presented PG Wright with a copy of the Houdon Bust of George Washington. Our Chapter’s customary gift to speakers.

The meeting at the Belle Haven Country Club was well attended and we were also joined by Dr. Cecilia Wright, the President General mother along with his children


No pictures to show


VASSAR Semi-Annual Meeting - 10 to 11 Sep 2021

Members who attended: Tom Roth – Chapter President and VASSAR Historian; Mike Elston – Chancellor General, NSSAR; Will Elston – First VP V.S.C.A.R; Paul Walden – President – War of 1812 Society in Virginia; and John Turbyfil – First Gentleman of the Virginia DAR

GW Chapter Scrapbook (Chairman Jack Coulter) finished in Second Place

Recognition from the 2021 Annual Congress held in Renton, Washington:

The Chapter - Certificate in Recognition of our support for the Wreaths Across America Program during 2020-2021

Registrar Richard Sherman received 2 oak leaf clusters to his Liberty Medal

Jamie Callender received the Oak Leaf Cluster from NSSAR to his Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of over 15,000 hours of PRS volunteer work 

Mike Elston received the Meritorious Service Medal for his work as Chairman of the Special 2021 Congress

Ernie Coggins received an oak leaf cluster to his Meritorious Service Medal for his work as Chairman of the Credentials Committee for the Special 2021 Congress as well as a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding personal service serving as Chairman of the Knight Essay Committee 2020-2021

Tom Roth received the Gold Roger Sherman Medal for service as a Deputy Chairman of the Credentials Committee for the Special 2021 Congress

Will Elston received the Gold Roger Sherman Medal for service as a Deputy Chairman of the IT Committee for the Special 2021 Congress.

Joseph W. Dooley received Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding personal service serving as Vice-Chairman of the S.A.R. Education Center & Museum Committee Ad Hoc 2020-2021 and as Chairman of the King's College London Partnership Committee 2020-21

U S Constitution Program, Alexandria Council Chambers - 20 Sep 2021

 OThe John Alexander Chapter, NSDAR held a ceremony on Monday September 20 in honor of Constitution Day.  This event took place in the Alexandria City Council Chambers and featured the reading and signing of a Proclamation by Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson recognizing Constitution Week in Alexandria.  

The John Alexander, Kate Waller Barrett, Nelly Custis, Dr. Elisha Dick, and Mt. Vernon Chapters NSDAR Co-sponsored this event.    Pesident Tom Roth was present and recognized as representing the George Washington Chapter and he was joined by Richard Rankin.  

The only other SAR member present was Dave Embrey of the Maryland Society who performed and educated the crew on the Fife in the 18th Century Army.

Life Saving Awards - PWCDFRS - 31 Aug 2021

 On 31 August 2021, Life Saving Awards were presented to Prince William County DFRS Technicians Lee Bergstreser and Nicholas Alexander. 

The first photo from left to right is PWCDFRS Chief Tim Keen, Lee Bergstreser and, John Blair. 

The second photo is Chief Keen, Nicholas Alexander and, John Blair.

Alexandria Police Officers Honored by the George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution - 25 Aug 2021

The George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution honored two Alexandria Police officers for their work with the Alexandria Treatment Court (ATC).  John Blair, the Chapter’s Public Safety Awards Chair, and Tom Roth, the Chapter’s Historian, awarded Officers Bennie Evans and Shakita Warren the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal for their dedication to helping participants navigate their way through the program to a successful completion.

The Sons of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Medal is presented to those who have served with distinction and devotion in the field of law enforcement.  It recognizes those who have performed an exceptional act or service beyond what is normally expected.

This news release is available at

Public Safety Awards - 28 Jul 2021

John Blair and Tom Roth attended the morning meeting of the Alexandria Sheriff’s Department and presented the following awards on behalf of the Chapter

  • Master Deputy Joseph Runquist - Bronze Good Citizenship
  • Deputy Sean Williams – Lifesaving Award

John Blair also made his normal brief presentation on the history and nature of the SAR

Deputy Sean Williams Life Saving Award 

Master Deputy Joseph Runquist Bronze Good Citizenship

Lovettsville VA Grave Marking - 24 Jul 2021

On July 24, VASSAR 2nd Vice President Ernie Coggins, GWSAR Vice-President Richard Rankin and GWSAR President Thomas Roth attended a Grave Marking for 5 Revolutionary Patriots at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Graveyard in Lovettsville, VA. 

This event was sponsored by the Fairfax Resolves Chapter, VASSAR.  President Roth placed a wreath.

George Washington Chapter's March to the Tomb of George Washington, July 4, 2021

Chapter May 2021 Meeting

We presented JROTC Cadet Lt. Col. Asiyah Khan (Mt. Vernon High School) with the Enhanced JROTC Cadet Award. She was joined by her parents Mohamed and Vanilla Khan, along with her JROTC Instructor, Col. Caroline Simkins Mullens (USMC Ret.)

The Chapter received a number of streamers at the 2021 Virtual Annual VASSAR Meeting

The Chapter was also honored to be joined by Elizabeth Maurer who spoke on “The Real Martha Washington”.  Vice President Rankin presented our speaker with a copy of the Houdon Bust of George Washington in appreciation of her talk.

James Monroe's Birthday at Highland - 24 April 2021

Richard Rankin, Vice-President, and Tom Roth, President, attended the 263'd commemoration of James Monroe's birthday at Highlands on 24 April 2021.  The location of the event site at highland was such that Monticello was looking down on it from a neighboring mountain top.

278th Anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's Birthday at Tuckahoe Plantation - 11 Apr 2021

> VP Rankin by GW Chapter Wreath

> VASSAR Color Guard

> VP Rankin & Pat Kelly, SAR National Trustee & Past VASSAR President

> Jefferson Tuckahoe Family Home

> VASSAR Flyer for this event

VASSAR 2020 State Life Saving Award

Ernie Coggins (VASSAR 2nd VP) and Tom Roth (GWSAR President) presented the VASSAR 2020 State Life Saving Award to Carolina Molivadis of the Alexandria Fire Department. The ceremony was organized by John Blair and held at Alexandria Fire Department Headquarters

Virtual 270th Anniversary of Birth of James Madison

Live-stream the laying of the Presidential Wreath by the U.S. Marine Corps . Roy Young, Montpelier's President and CEO, welcomed all viewers. Acclaimed singer, acoustic guitarist, and storyteller Calvin Earl performed "America the Beautiful. Mr. Madison" discussed the events of his birthday on March 16, 1821. Lily Moriarty (Orange, VA) and Claire Furtwangler (Seattle, WA) Vassar College seniors and bandmates in The Morning Moon, performed "This Land is Your Land. "Let's Talk About Rights," featuring guest speaker Christopher Riano.

VNSSAR Special National Congress - March 13, 2021

IMG 2451 shows part of the Credentials Committee at work. Deputy Chairman and VASSAR Assistant Secretary Tim Diquino on the left. Ernie Coggins, Committee Chairman on the right

IMG 2451 shows a Congress Delegate in deep discussion with the Deputy IT Committee Chairman (also a GW Chapter Member)

2021 Commemoration of Black History Month

VASSAR observed Black History month by leading a ceremony at the Elam Baptist Church Cemetery in Ruthville.  President Jeff Thomas gave greetings, and the Rev. Helen Washington-Randall, Pastor of Elam Baptist Church, served as Chaplain.  Judith Ledbetter, spoke on the history of these 26 Patriots and how they were identified.  A descendant of one of the patriots also spoke at the ceremony.  Paul Walden, served as Master of Ceremonies.

2021 Crossing of the Dan Commemoration

Sons of the American Revolution commemorate the Crossing of the Dan. On February 20, 2021, the George Washington Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution participated in a virtual commemoration of the Crossing of the Dan, an important event that leads to victory in the American Revolutionary War.

Birthday of George Washington, Wreath Laying at GW Tomb

Mike Hoffman, Don Francisco, Richard Rankin, Ken Bonner, Dave Thomas, Tom Roth, Dave Cook, John Blair, Jack Coulter, Scott Walker. All except Bonner, Thomas and Cook are GW chapter members

GWSAR February Chapter Meeting - VIRTUAL

The February meeting was held virtually due to COVID.  Revolutionary War Historians and biographers of Charles Lee have treated him as either an inveterate enemy of George Washington, or a great defender of American liberty.  Neither approach is accurate. According to author Christian McBurney, absolute objectivity is required to fully understand the war’s most complicated general.

V.S.C.A.R.’s 2021 Annual Project

VSCAR - Making Waves Through History      Patron Form

Virginia CAR Pins     VSCAR T-Shirts.pdf

VASSAR Annual Meeting - VIRTUAL

The VASSAR Annual meeting was held virtually due to COVID

Col. James Wood II Chapter’s Commemoration of the Battle of Cowpens 

This was held on January 16, 2021 at the grave of General Daniel Morgan, Mt. Hebron, Virginia.  General Morgan commanded the victorious patriot forces at Cowpens, including developing the effective techniques for making best use of Militia that were later followed up successfully by General Green at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

GWSAR January Chapter Meeting - VIRTUAL

The January meeting was held virtually due to COVID.  Our speaker was David M. Muraca, Vice President of Museum Content & Director of Archaeology for the George Washington Foundation in Fredericksburg. His presentation  highlighted recent discoveries from archaeological excavations and on-site research at Ferry Farm. These discoveries have given us greater understandings of the younger George Washington and his family during their time at Ferry Farm in the 1740s.

Sons of the American Revolution
Virginia SAR
George Washington Chapter

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