Cathedral of the Pines

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
August 19, 2014

Last week Steve and I had the opportunity to return to beautiful New Hampshire.  We traveled near the coast to Exeter to meet State Regent Phyllis Gagnon, her husband Roland, Past Treasurer General Bea Dalton and her husband, Mike, State Vice Regent Wendy Jones and her husband, Turner, and Exeter Chapter Regent Susan O’Leary and her husband, Kevin, for a tour of the American Independence Museum.

The museum is located in the Ladd-Gilman House, built in 1721 by prosperous Exeter merchants.   The home later became the state headquarters of the Society of the Cincinnati which was organized in the nearby Folsom Tavern.  Members generously donated historically significant items from the American Revolution including furnishings, ceramics, silver, textiles and military items.

The greatest treasure is a Dunlap Broadside, the first copies of the Declaration of Independence.  Approximately 200 copies of the Dunlap Broadside were published on July 4, 1776 and 26 copies are known to exist. The Museum also has an early draft of the U.S. Constitution with notes made in the margins. 

Bea and Mike treated us to a boat ride on the Piscataqua River, a tidal river which opens to the Atlantic, while Bea entertained us with history of the region.

From there we drove to Nashua for the State Regent’s Banquet on Friday evening. The Banquet featured a Power Point presentation of the historical properties owned by the New Hampshire Chapters.  The Vietnam Veterans were recognized and the Juniors organized a service project in which we packaged toiletries for the Volunteer for Vets project.  It was fun to meet Quincy Whitney whose great-grandmother, Eunice Merrill Jones, was a Real Daughter.  Quincy is a brand new member of the DAR and was wearing her great-grandmother’s insignia.

The New Hampshire Daughters host an annual worship service at the beautiful Cathedral of the Pines every August and welcome guests from all over the nation. Situated in the Mount Monadock Region, the Cathedral was founded by Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Sloane III in 1945 as  a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II, including their son, Sandy, who had selected this site for his home.  It is an interfaith cathedral without walls in which people of every faith can unite in understanding and respect.

The focal point is the Altar of the Nations, made up of stones from 50 states as well as other historically significant sites such as Plymouth, England and Plymouth Rock, MA, the battlefields of Lexington, Concord and Yorktown, Normandy, the Alamo, and from the Pentagon following the attack on 9/11.  There is a 55 foot high bell tower dedicated to the sacrifice of America’s women with large bronze plaques designed by Norman Rockwell.

With a service planned by State Chaplain Dot Howard, the New Hampshire Daughters invite a different speaker each year to deliver a message. First Vice President General Ann T. Dillon had accepted the invitation to speak but a family commitment conflicted and I was happy to be her substitute.  My message focused on serving God through service to others.  The scripture I chose was from 1st Peter 4:10  “Use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”   My message concluded with an old Danish proverb:  “What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.” 

May our legacy not merely be one of lineage, but one of service and may each of us use the gifts God has given to serve others.

Many of the past Cathedral messages are available on the Chaplain General’s webpage.

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