CANTON CHAPTER REGENT’S REPORT
ON THE 118th CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
The 118th Continental Congress is now a fond memory and a part of
NSDAR history. It was a great time to be in Washington, as we experienced unusually
cool weather and low humidity for July, in what once was a swampland. The only
sour note, if there was one, was that President Obama did not send greetings as the conference opened, which has been a precedent
by preceding Presidents.
Festivities kicked off on Wednesday evening with The United States Marine “The
President’s Own” Chamber Orchestra. The Keynote address was given by Lt Col Michael Strobl, USMC (Ret.). Strobl is the subject and co-writer of the HBO film “Taking Chance”, which
stars Kevin Bacon. The National Society presents a Media Award during Continental
Congress each year to an individual or program that has contributed greatly to American culture within the historic, educational,
or patriotic objectives of DAR, and “Taking Chance” is this year’s recipient of that award. The film is the story of Strobl’s experience serving as military escort to bring home the remains
of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, a young soldier killed in Iraq. Strobl also
accepted the award on HBO’s behalf. Later
in the evening, the critically acclaimed soprano Christiane Noll, who lives up to her reputation as being “one of the
most versatile actresses in the American Musical Theatre” presented a varied repertoire in Broadway, opera, operetta
Did you ever think of Dolly Parton as someone who would receive the Founders
Award for Education? Sponsored by the Great Smokies Chapter, TN, Dolly received
this recognition for outstanding achievement through education in activities furthering educational pursuits beyond the formal
educational process. Dolly Parton launched an exciting effort called the Imagination
Library to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee and foster a love of reading among that county’s
preschool children and their families. She wanted to ensure that every child
would have books, regardless of their family’s income. To find out more
about the Dolly’s Imagination Library, visit http://www.dollysimaginationlibrary.com
The Americanism Award was presented to Raul Hector Castro, who was sponsored
by the Arizona State Society. This DAR medal is given to an adult who has been
a naturalized citizen for at least five years and has shown extraordinary qualities of leadership, trustworthiness, service
and patriotism. Born in Mexico into a family of thirteen other children on June
12, 1916, his father was a copper miner and his mother was a midwife. He lived
in Mexico until his family moved to Douglas, AZ in 1926. His accomplishments
include earning a B.A. in Education in 1939 and becoming a United States citizen that same year. He then put himself through law school and was elected as a Pima County Superior Court Judge. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson appointed Castro as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and later as Ambassador
to Bolivia. He later returned to AZ to practice law and became Arizona’s
first Latino governor and served from 1975-1977. He resigned when President Carter
appointed him Ambassador to Argentina. His law practice focused on immigration
and international law. He has been accorded numerous honors over the years, including
having February 16 declared as “Raul H. Castro Day” in Arizona.
Thursday morning’s session focused on the reports of the National officers. The session ended at 11:00 and conference recessed until 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening opened with The United States Air Force Ceremonial Band.
This was the State Regents night with each state regent giving a report of her state society and the DAR chorus entertained
with a musical interlude.
Friday morning, I was honored to be asked by Patsy Gaines to sit in the Ohio
Box as the Administrative and Standing Committees gave their reports. Nine candidates
for the office of Vice President General introduced themselves to those attending the conference. There was one candidate for the office of Honorary Vice President General.
The session recessed until 2:00 p.m. When the business session reconvened
more committee reports were given. Bylaws amendments, which had previously been
mailed out to all regents, were presented by a member of the National Bylaws Committee.
Two amendments, after much deliberation, were returned to the Bylaws committee to be re-written and presented on Saturday
for voting. That information will be given in a separate report.
Friday is National Defense Night and we heard the United States Navy Ceremonial
Band perform prior to the official opening. The keynote speaker was General Ann
Dunwoody, the first female four-star general in U.S. Military history. She is
currently the Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, the Army’s premier provider of materiel readiness-technology,
acquisition support, logistics power projection, and sustainment-to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military
operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, or eats it,
AMC provides it.
Among other awards presented was the DAR Medal of Honor to Captain Earl Morse,
USAF, (Retired) from Springfield, OH who instituted the Honor Flight program for WWII veterans to be flown to the WWII Memorial
in Washington, DC. Captain Morse was honored and spoke of his program last April
at the OSDAR Conference in Columbus. He was nominated for the award by the Columbus
Country music star Aaron Tippin, and his wife Thea Tippin, entertained and
was presented the Founders Medal of Freedom for Patriotism.
Saturday is the day of voting for the Vice Presidents General and the Honorary
Vice President General and the booths are open from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The voting
went smoothly and the lines didn’t take long to process through. Reports
of the day include the student contest awards and the DAR schools’ reports. If
you attend our chapter meetings where we present student awards, then you are aware of how impressive the young people are
and these National winners are very special students. It is amazing how much
poise a 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grade student can muster.
Saturday evening was Gala Awards Night with the United States Army Ceremonial
Band playing as members and guests arrived. Some of the awards being presented
went to the following: NSDAR 2009 Outstanding Teacher of American History, Stephen Suther, Mount Ulla, NC. The Dr. Aura-Lee A. Pittinger and James Hobbs Pittinger American History Scholarship went to Karen Joy
Harriger of Porterville, CA. DAR Good Citizen for the year 2009 is Joanna Charlotte
Moody of Charlottesville, VA. The entertainment was “Crystal and Friends”
Mechelle Matthews, Professional Ventriloquist.
Following the Memorial Service at the DAR Monument on Sunday morning, the business
session and installation of officers was held in Constitution Hall. New State
Regents were installed and new State Vice Regents were confirmed. The oaths of
office for these officers and for those elected to Honorary Vice President General and Vice Presidents General was administered
by the NSDAR Chaplain. The 118th Continental Congress was adjourned.
Over 3,000 members and guests were in attendance. Statistics shared of the various accomplishments of our society are amazing to hear. You all can be very
proud to be part of the DAR. These are only high lights of what occurred during
this conference. A daily report is printed in The Congress Herald and activities
of the previous day are presented. If you have the opportunity to attend Continental
Congress, I would encourage you to experience this.
Thank you for electing me as your delegate,