To echo my comments made in Independence Hall on July 4, 2013, I am honored and humbled to accept the responsibility of serving as the new President-General of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. I will make every effort to live up to the confidence placed in me. My thanks to Past President-General, John Glynn, aided by his ever-supportive spouse, Kathryn, for his steady-at-the-helm leadership during his term of office.
I am grateful to be serving with officers, directors, committee members and all those who unselfishly volunteer their time and energy to carry out the purposes of DSDI. As an organization, we will continue to be involved with patriotic and commemorative projects such as restoration of historic landmarks, marking and honoring Signers’ gravesites, encouraging citizens to ring bells on July 4th and offering our Signers’ bibliographies and other such resources on our website as an educational tool. Access to merit-based scholarships for Descendants of the Signers has become an extremely valuable asset. The Scholarship Committee has adopted a paperless online application system to streamline the ever-increasing interest. If you have not attended an Annual Congress in Philadelphia, come experience the sense of pride and reverence of meeting in Independence Hall. Grace Staller and Donald Ward, Sr. work very hard to make this a memorable yearly event.
With the help of local volunteer hosts, we will continue to hold our General Meetings in places of historic period interest. You should already have received your invitation to our upcoming fall meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, hosted by Shelley Horsley Cruz. The spring 2014 meeting will be in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts hosted by the Brinker sisters, followed by the fall 2014 meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by our new 1st Vice-President-General, Hope Middleton Wood. If you have a suggestion for an upcoming general meeting site and especially if you would like to plan and host it, let Hope know.
DSDI’s stated objective is “to strengthen in American life the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, and to perpetuate the memory of those men who, in signing that Declaration, mutually pledged their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor in the cause of Liberty.” I appeal to all members to get involved. DSDI has been in existence for 106 years. With the support of a dedicated, growing membership, DSDI will be able to continue its mission and influence well into the future. Make this possible by reaching out to those family members who have yet to join. Bring them to a meeting and encourage them to apply. If you have any questions or comments, I look forward to hearing from you.
Lawrence McMahon Croft