Dear DSDI Members,
Despite the ominous threat of Hurricane Arthur, our Annual Congress in Philadelphia proceeded as planned. Whether a first-timer or an old hand, all agreed that meeting in the Long Room of Independence Hall is, indeed, a reverent experience. Watching our junior members, whose Signers were arguably the “first citizens,” tap the Liberty Bell alongside two young new naturalized citizens instilled a sense of pride in being an American. Philadelphia’s July 4th parade always attracts diverse and colorful entrants including this year, Vice President Joe Biden.
As President-General, it has been a real privilege to visit with other patriotic heritage organizations. This past June 25th, Susan and I attended the 123rd Continental Congress of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in Constitutional Hall in Washington, DC. The entrance of flag bearing members representing the 50 states accompanied by music performed by the U.S Army Band set a rousing patriotic tone for the evening. Incredibly, DAR membership exceeds 177,000, but even more impressive is the reported thousands of hours DAR members have logged in providing service to their communities. On July 15th, I was invited by the Thomas Lynch Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in Georgetown, SC, to take part in dedicating a DSDI plaque at Hopsewee Plantation, the birthplace of Signer Thomas Lynch, Jr. DSDI was represented by our Editor of the Spirit, Hunter George, and his wife, Patty, and a large contingent of my family that happened to be vacationing in nearby Pawley’s Island, SC. During the ceremony, Bobby Walters, a local rising high school seniorand two-time winner of the South Carolina SAR oration contest, moved the crowd with an excellent six-minute speech on the eternal importance of the Declaration of Independence.
Those members who will be awarded scholarships for the upcoming school year have been announced. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit following careful and diligent independent scoring by the members of the Scholarship Committee. Any applicant not earning a scholarship this year is encouraged to apply for next year. The Scholarship Committee is “looking for a few good men and women” volunteers. Spouses of descendants are welcomed and encouraged to participate. Please contact me or Jill Haimes, who chairs the Scholarship Committee.
I look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming meeting in Charleston, SC. As a South Carolina native, I can attest Charleston has unique historic charm and traditional food dishes to delight the most demanding palate. Our meeting host, 1st VP-General Hope Middleton Wood, has made sure Charleston’s Lowcountry shrimp and grits are on our menu. Need I say more?
Lawrence McMahon Croft, President-General