Dear DSDI Members,
As the end of my term of office is in sight, I am honored and pleased to have had this experience and especially appreciate your confidence as well as camaraderie. Many thanks to those who helped pull off a very well attended event at Mount Vernon including member Lisa Moore, a longtime Vice Regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and our Friday night speaker, Johnny Alexander for his support as Treasurer, his wife Myrna Alexander for helping with the registration desk, Hunter George for arranging local publicity, the Virginia Society of DSDI for sponsoring the Saturday night reception, Lucy Tonacci for graciously loaning me a camera because I left mine at home, and my wife, Susan, who helped me cope with a myriad of details involved in planning and hosting a DSDI meeting. Nan Marshall, my friend from Savannah, GA, who was the speaker at our Saturday night banquet, attends a number of heritage organization events, and she was visibly moved by our members’ authentic and reverent quest to honor the Signers.
Numerous behind-the-scenes issues have been tackled and resolved, and I am indebted to all those who have donated their time and talent in making sure DSDI remains viable and vibrant. Challenges still exist, and I encourage you to get involved. Note the opportunity presented in this issue of the Spirit to provide your input to our newly formed Education Committee as to defining and carrying out our educational mission in the future. The Scholarship Committee can always use volunteers to participate in the recipient selection process. Express the willingness to serve DSDI, and you will be shown the way.
Several years ago, I was invited to speak to a Maryland Chapter of the DAR. At the conclusion of my talk, I was presented with a flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of DSDI. What a wonderful gift, but one that warranted a better resting place than in a box on my bookshelf. It took a while, but I recently found a way to place the flag in a permanent setting with a strong connection to a Signer. First, I asked current cadets in my old Army ROTC unit at the University of Virginia to fold the flag in ceremonial fashion. Then I had the flag placed in a triangular wooden frame with accompanying plaque explaining the origin of the flag. The framed flag and plaque were presented to the University of Virginia Alumni Association (Mr. Jefferson’s University) in honor of the Gray-Carrington Award, the University’s most prestigious individual student award. If you are ever in Charlottesville, VA, drop by Alumni Hall to see the flag.
I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as President-General and look forward to supporting those who will lead DSDI going forward. I relish one more time this July 4th reading the Declaration of Independence in the Long Room at Independence Hall and observing our young members tap the Liberty Bell. None of this would have been possible without my dear mother having signed her children up for DSDI membership. Make sure you do as well for your children and grandchildren.
In closing, to quote the unforgettable Bob Hope, “Thanks for the memory.”
Lawrence McMahon Croft, President-General