Saturday, March 12, 2016

Honoring Our Family Histories

While my application is still in process with the Sons of the American Revolution I received an open invitation to attend the next quarterly meeting of the chapter I will soon be joining at the Inn at Reading this past Thursday. After discussing with my wife and double checking my schedule I made plans to attend heading there straight from work. While I had hoped to arrive a little early other projects during the day delayed my departure quite a bit and I walked through the doors shortly after they began serving dinner.

Despite interrupting dinner, I was welcomed warmly as soon as I walked in the room and immediately brought to a table where a chair and place setting were brought out in short order. Throughout the meal I enjoyed the conversation with all those around the table especially with the man who had been helping me with my application from the beginning. While I had never met the men and women in that room prior, I was immediately made to feel as though we had known each other for years. While not yet official, I was seen as having a common bond with all those around me.

With dinner nearly concluded, the guest speaker for the evening was introduced and what followed was one of the more fascinating and thoroughly researched presentations that I have heard in some time. Michael C. Harris adeptly condensed a portion of his book, Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America,September 11, 1777, into a precise narrative of the battle which was both engaging and easily digestible for all in attendance. It even gave me an idea for a story or two in the future. The impetus for the book was quite simple as at the time he was employed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at the Brandywine Battlefield and he wanted to produce an accurate and comprehensive history of the engagement in the absence of current literature about the battle. Needless to say, I was one of many who purchase a book once the meeting was concluded.

Following the presentation was the business portion of the meeting which included the many new members, pending applications and supplemental applications, and reports from various committees. In the end, while formal in attire (coat and tie), the meeting itself was warm, welcoming, and relaxed. These are people that truly enjoy the company of one another, embrace the community, and honor the familial and national history that we each represent. It is an organization that I am more excited than ever to join and one that I am certainly going to enjoy sharing with my family as we discover more and more about the plethora of patriots in our family history.