Dear Society Members,
How do you celebrate the 4th of July? With family, friends and fireworks? I have heard from some of our members on the ways they celebrate. At exactly 2 p.m. Lucy Tonacci, Member at Large, invites all visitors, descendants etc. to join in with the annual ringing of the Maryland Liberty Bell in Annapolis; our Treasurer-General Johnny Alexander celebrates with the Sounds of Liberty program hosted by the Republic Chapter Sons of the American Revolution in Salem, Oregon; his brother Oliver Alexander holds a Sounds of Liberty in Blountsville, Alabama, and the Edward Croft family has a special gathering at their mountain home with a presentation by 13 children and bell ringing, and so it goes from “Sea to Shining Sea”. This is a special day of celebration for the birth of our great Nation and I would love to hear how you celebrate and help to promote freedom from tyranny, as did your ancestors.
I so very proud of our young descendants, ably guided by Past President-General Donald Ward Sr., as they tapped the Liberty Bell in unison with the Independence Hall Tower Bell as it tolled 13 times for each of the colonies. It is such a special privilege and one that will hopefully hold a life long memory for each of them.
Julian Hawes and Julia Bannon attended their first meeting this year and graciously presented the Society with an American Flag that had flown over the United States Capitol and we thank them so much for their thoughtful gift.
As James Alexander, Registrar-General, solemnly read the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall, I could not help but reflect that 240 years ago our Ancestors met in this very building to decide on our destiny as a nation. We feel so fortunate to be able to hold our meetings in the historic Long Room as we are the only Society allowed to do so and I noted how proudly each descendant stood up for his or her ancestor as young Don Ward called out the name of each of the 56 Signers.
We were delighted to hear Jill Haimes announce the recipients of the 56 scholarships and we thank her and the committee for their time and effort. I would also like to thank Grace Staller, Don Ward and Gene Mayhew for hosting the meeting, which they do so well each year. What would the Society be without the contributions of our volunteers?
Remember that our next meeting will be in Charlottesville, Virginia, hosted by Past President-General Laurie Croft. I hope that you will plan to attend as he has been working hard on making this a most interesting meeting with a visit to Monticello, lunch at historic Michie Tavern and our meeting at the University of Virginia. I will certainly look forward with Laurie to welcoming you to Virginia.
Hope Middleton Wood