Reelfoot DAR chapter holds meeting
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:00 pm
The meeting was called to order by regent Mary Coleman, who led the members in the DAR ritual, assisted by chaplain Linda Lofton. Ann Culp led the American’s Creed, followed by Ms. Lofton leading the song, “America.” Josephine Keightley led the salute to the Tennessee flag and Peggy Drerup led the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.
The minutes of the June meeting were read by secretary Margaret Vaughan and approved as read.
The Flag Code was presented by Ms. Lofton, which told of the origin of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of America. In 1892, the nation was preparing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Columbus to the New World. Francis Bellamy, who worked in the editor’s office of the Youth’s Companion, a magazine read at that time by almost every schoolchild, was appointed chairman of the Columbus celebration. He was instrumental in persuading President William Harrison to proclaim Columbus Day a national holiday. Bellamy also wrote the original salute to the flag to be recited on that day by all schoolchildren as they raised the American flag. This salute, written by Bellamy in 1892, became the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag. The original salute read: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In 1924, the word “my” was changed to “the flag of the United States of America” and in 1954, “one nation indivisible” was changed to “one nation under God indivisible.”
The president general’s message was read by Penny Hepler. President Merry Ann Wright reminded chapters of changes and deadlines for the NSDAR fiscal year. She encouraged chapters to gain and train new members, but also to make additional efforts to retain current membership in chapters. She explained how NSDAR would be part of a commission appointed to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Ann Thompson read a portion of CIA Director David Patraeus’ keynote address to the 121st NSDAR Continental Congress in Washington, D.C., in June. Patraeus is a retired four star general who served his country for 37 years in numerous leadership military assignments. He acknowledged the 250,000 hours NSDAR members devote each year to serving veterans and their families and sees this service as becoming more, not less, important, due to the nature of the conflicts of the past decade. He related to the assembly that one of the most inspiring moments of his military career occurred at al-Faw Palace in Baghdad on the Fourth of July 2008 when 1,215 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines raised their right hands with him and reenlisted. This is believed to be the largest reenlistment ceremony in America’s history, and they did so in a combat zone.
Hazel Williams gave the treasurer’s report, Ms. Coleman presented the Conservation Minute and correspondence was read to the chapter. Old business and new business were addressed. Ms. Coleman noted that several members had attended the West Tennessee TNDAR Conference in Jackson in August.
To commemorate Constitution Week, Bill Dahnke presented a program on James Madison, considered by some historians to be the father of the Constitution of the United States of America, signed in 1787. Madison worked closely with President George Washington to organize the Federalist Party. After disagreements with Alexander Hamilton over the United States’ Bank concept, he and Thomas Jefferson organized what they called the Republican Party, which later became the Democrat-Republican Party. This party believed more strongly in states’ rights with less federal control of the states. He was the fourth president of the United States and led the new nation into the War of 1812 with Great Britain. His greatest concern during his presidency was to preserve the Constitution, ensuring freedom for all citizens. He died in 1836 at age 85 at Montpelier, Va.
The meeting was adjourned and delicious refreshments and a period of fellowship were enjoyed by all present.
Ms. Vaughan, Gail McConnell and Ruth Weldon were hostesses.
Published in The Messenger 9.26.12