Reflections From the Historian General

Written by: Ginger Trader, Historian General
March 19, 2019

Historic Preservation – Those objects, manuscripts, letters that tell the story of our society and what it stands for and what those resilient women of history endured.     The Historian Generals office is entrusted with the safe keeping of these awesome records of history.

Where does one begin to express the joy it has been to serve as your Historian General?   During these last three years we have approved approximately 350 Revolutionary War grave markers, 180 Commemorative markers and as of this date 13 History Award Medals.    Chapters and States have worked very diligently to mark these sites for future generations, and it has been a thrill to have been a part of this process.  

Visiting states throughout the country to share with them the treasures that we hold in our beautiful building, Americana Room and Archives has been a joy.   Welcoming hundreds of visitors to the Americana Room during the Christmas Open House and witness their excitement as they viewed a few of these items.

Establishing the new Excellence in American History Children’s Book Award has been well-received for the first year and the Excellence in American History Book Award received the most entries this year thus far.

A new option was introduced for our members grave markers using a component of cement, sand and quartz rock providing a more affordable alternative to bronze.

The Outstanding Teacher of American History contest recognizes one dedicated history teacher that demonstrates the love of American History and the students they are teaching.   Eighty-eight well-deserving state winners have been judged for this contest during this administration.

I have had the privilege of being the liaison to the American History, Commemorative Events, Historic Preservation and Women’s Issues Committees.    Each of these National Chairs have embraced their committees with passion and enthusiasm.    Regina Heffelfinger, Carole Levering, Cindy Phillips and Rebecca Kline have been a real joy to work with for the last three years.  

What a humbling and moving experience it was to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington’s National Cemetery and spend the night on the grounds of historic Mount Vernon.   I will forever be grateful for this opportunity of a lifetime.    I look forward in sharing these and many more experiences that have been afforded me during this administration with my grandchildren.

The many facets of the Historian Generals office would not run so smoothly if it were not for the dedicated staff.   My sincere appreciation goes out to Director of Archives and History, Tracy Robinson; historians, Briana Diaz and Genevieve Shishak; archivists, Amanda Vasquez and Joy O’Donnell.   I will greatly miss working with these very special ladies.

Finally, I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Dillon Administration as we moved forward in service to America.

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Through restoring historic properties, funding scholarships and supporting our troops, DAR makes a difference in local communities.