It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as the President-General of this Society and it has provided me with many opportunities to represent you. I have been asked to place a wreath at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington along with other patriotic Societies and the President of the United States and at the 4th of July ceremonies at Congressional Cemetery organized by the Washington Sons of the Revolution. I have been invited to attend the Annual Meetings of the Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Of course one of the most important is the bell tapping ceremony at the Liberty Bell Pavilion held every 4th of July by the Pennsylvania Sons of the American Revolution. I have presided over the DSDI’s Annual Congress at Independence Hall. I have been most fortunate to meet and become friends not only with the new Mayor of Charleston, a descendant of Philip Livingston and member of the DSDI, but so many other descendants.
The one thing that stands out to me is the great respect that the Society receives from other prominent organizations because of who we are and who we represent. I would like to add that we are the standard bearers and have status above what could normally be expected. My one regret is that we don’t always take full advantage of it. I feel that we should work on raising our profile so that every local newspaper and TV station wants to cover our meetings and activities because we represent an important part of America’s National Heritage. We are newsworthy and are the one organization that is entrusted to keep alive the history of those brave 56 Signers of the Declaration. They were men from all walks of life who not only pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor but saw their homes burned, were imprisoned and lost fortunes but continued to believe in the freedom we enjoy today. They are an integral part of America’s history and wonderful role models for future generations to look up to. So I do hope that our Society will continue to consider our mission and work to advance and enhance our image as we honor their memory
It is with heavy heart that I report the death of Luther D. Shank, III, who served for many years on the Society’s Board as Past Governor of Delaware and host of the Delaware meeting last Spring. His sprightly personality will certainly be missed. The Society extends its deepest sympathy to his family.
At this time, I would like to introduce the new President-General of the Society, Robert Bruce W. Laubach. I know we all look forward to working with him.
Before I close, I would be quite remiss if I did not acknowledge the support of my dear husband, the entire Board and their spouses and past President-General Laurie Croft. It has made my term of office so much easier and so very enjoyable. So again, I thank you all for the great privilege of serving as your President-General.
Hope Middleton Wood