Visiting Relatives and the SAR Convention

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
August 6, 2014

On Saturday July 19th I flew from Houston to Greenville, SC where I was warmly greeted by Chaplain General Ann Crider.  One of my patriots, Henry Machen/Machin, is buried in Greenville and I had hoped to see his grave for many years.  We picked up a distant cousin whom I’d not met previously, Ted Machen, and Ann drove us to the cemetery deep in the woods.  Thank goodness Ted was with us as the road was unmarked and the gate was locked.  Ted has lovingly cared for this cemetery since it was rediscovered almost 30 years ago.  He is a very spry 93 and worries about what will become of it.  Interestingly, the cemetery is covered in cement.  Apparently one of the descendants owned a concrete company and at the end of the business day he brought whatever cement was left over and placed it in the cemetery.

After a delightful visit, we reluctantly returned Ted to his home and drove to the home of Morn and Herb Lindsay.  Morn is a DAR member who answered a genealogical query I placed in a publication in 1990, providing me with a good bit of information on Matthew Rogers, a patriot I share with her husband.  It was wonderful to meet Herb and Morn and a treat to look through her Rogers genealogy.

Ann drove me back to the Hyatt Regency Greenville for the 124th Congress of the Sons of the American Revolution, where Treasurer General Martha Barnhart welcomed me to the hotel.   The SAR Congress is held in different areas of the country and the pre-registration was over 700 members and guests. They enjoyed several historic tours including a visit to Kings Mountain/Cowpens.  Several SAR members reminded us frequently that there were more skirmishes in South Carolina than in any other state and that the Revolutionary War was won in South Carolina.

The 2013-2014 SAR President General, Joseph W. Dooley, works in D.C. and was my guest at a recent Twilight Tattoo at Ft. Myer honoring the Vietnam Veterans.  Twilight Tattoo is an hour-long, live-action military pageant featuring Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own”.   It was so impressive that your Executive Officers attended the following week.  Subsequently, the SAR also became a commemorative partner with the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration and are encouraging their chapters to recognize those veterans in communities across the nation.  http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/

Martha and I enjoyed worshipping with Ann at First Presbyterian Church Sunday morning.  This beautiful building was built in 1848 and has grown to include three services as well as a school.  After church we toured downtown Greenville and then had a delicious luncheon at Ann’s home.

Sunday afternoon Martha and I joined the SAR members and guests for a walk to the historic Christ Church Episcopal for the SAR’s Memorial Service.  With hundreds of members in colonial uniform, we received quite a bit of attention in the downtown area. The cornerstone of the original church was laid in 1826 and the current one was built in 1854. 

Following the service a Ladies tea was held at the church.  We walked back to the Hyatt for dinner and the Oration contest finals of high school juniors and seniors.  Each of the finalists were extremely impressive and it was a relief to NOT be one of the judges.

The opening session convened Monday morning and it was a pleasure to bring greetings on behalf of NSDAR.  When Joe Dooley was installed last year, he challenged the members to raise a large sum of money for a museum at their headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.  In fact, he offered to shave his head if the monetary goal for the museum was met.  By the time I left, the goal was in reach and I was again relieved that I would not have to do the same for your generous contributions to DAR!

It was wonderful to be with our friends in SAR and so many DAR members.  Best wishes to the 2014-2015 President General, Lindsey Brock of Florida and his wife, Billie, for a most successful year.

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